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Chapter I. The Spanish Explorers. Ponce de Leon. 
Hernando de Soto. 

The Spanish explorers not successful within the limits of the PAOE 
present United States — Ponce de Leon discovers Florida — 
Pineda is said to have discovered the Mississippi — Vasquez 
de Ayllon in Florida — Pamphilo de Narvaez — Cabeza and 
the Mississippi — De Soto's equipment — Spirit of his fol- 
lowers — Landing of De Soto — His treatment of the natives 
— The massacre of Vitachuco's warriors — Search for gold — 
The female cacique — Tuscaluza — Disaster at Mauvila — In 
the country of the Chickasaws — Discovery of the Mississippi 
— Death of De Soto — Luis de Moscoso 3 

Chapter II. The French Explorers. Marquette and 
Joliet. Hennepin. La Salle. 

Spirit of the French explorers — The St. Lawrence — Acadia 
— Quebec — The missionaries — Montreal — La Salle— Discov- 
ery of the Ohio — Marquette — Joliet — The Mississippi — Re- 
turn of the explorers — Death of Marquette — La Salle's plans 
— Frontenac — Tonty — Hennepin — The Griffin — Fort Creve- 
coeur — Hennepin's expedition — Description of the Missis- 
sippi— Du Lhut — "Louis," Indian name for "sun," accord- 
ing to Hennepin — First mention of the name " Louisiane " — 
Gilmary Shea's opinion of Hennepin — La Salle at Fort 
Frontenac — The Iroquois and the Illinois — La Salle enters 
the Mississippi — The mouth of the Mississippi — Official ac- 
count of taking possession — Father Membre's description of 
the Mississippi — Fort St. Louis of the Illinois — La Salle 
authorized to form a settlement — Fort St. Louis of Texas — 
Murder of La Salle — Destruction of La Salle's settlement . 11 

Chapter III. The Settlement of Louisiana. Iber- 
ville, Sauvole, and Bienville. 

The condition of France from 1687 to the treaty of Ryswick 
— Maurepas chooses Iberville for the Louisiana expedition — 



The sons of Charles Le Moyne — Names of Le Moyne's chil- 
dren — Joutel's "Relation" — Father Anastase Douay — Iber- 
ville arrives at Ship Island in February, 1699 — Reception of 
Iberville by the Indians — The first fort at Biloxi — Iberville 
finds the mouth of the Mississippi — Exploration of the river 
— Origin of name Baton Rouge — Pointe Coupee — Tonty's 
letter — Iberville starts to return to his ships — Iberville River, 
Lakes Maurepas and Pontchartrain, Bay St. Louis — Success 
of Iberville's expedition — Sauvole the first commandant or 
governor of Louisiana — Visit of Bayagoula chiefs and their 
squaws — The " English Turn " — Return of Iberville — Fort 
on the Mississippi — Fort Rosalie — Le Sueur's "blue and 
green earth" — Bienville's journey to the northwest — Death 
of Sauvole — Bienville in command — Iberville's last voyage to 
Louisiana — War of the Spanish Succession — The seat of the 
colony removed from Biloxi — Fort Louis de la Mobile — Com- 
missary de La Salle — Curate de la Vente — Death of Iberville 30 

Chapter IV. The Struggle for Existence. The 
Founding of New Orleans. 

Hardships of the colonists — Dealings with the Indians — 
Death of Tonty— Census of 1704— Census of 1706— De 
Muys — Diron d'Artaguette — D'Artaguette and Bienville ad- 
vocate an establishment on the Mississippi — Penicaut's life 
with the Indians — Slow progress of Louisiana — Grant to 
Crozat — Governor Lamothe Cadillac — Letters patent to Cro- 
zat — Administration of Lamothe Cadillac — Customs of the 
Natchez Indians — Bienville's punishment of the Natchez 
chiefs — Governor de l'Epinay — Intendant Hubert — Early 
settlements — Fort Conde of Mobile — Dubreuil — Young 
D'Artaguette — The Western Company — John Law — Ab- 
stract of the charter of the Western Company — Foundation 
of New Orleans in February, 1718 — New Biloxi — The Su- 
perior Council in 1719 — War with Spain — Capture of Pen- 
sacola — Expeditions of Dutisne and of La Harpe — The 
German Coast — Pauger's report about the mouth of the 
Mississippi — New Orleans becomes the capital — La Tour's 
report — The hurricane of 1723 — Commandants of posts — 
Names of districts — Father Charlevoix's letter — Description 
of Louisiana by Le Page du Pratz — Le Page's arrival in the 
colony — His concessions near New Orleans — The calumet 
dance — Departure for the Natchez country — Settlement near 
Fort Rosalie — Limits of Louisiana according to Le Page — 



Climate — The river St. Louis — Le Page goes to New Biloxi 
— Explorations in the interior— Tribute to St. Denis — Boats 
of the natives — List of the Indian tribes — Le Page meets 
Father Charlevoix — His departure in 173-1 50 

Chapter V. Abstracts of the most important Royal 
Orders, Regulations, and Edicts concerning Loui- 
siana, from 1719 to 1729. 

Forbids governors, etc., to possess plantations — Forbids vaga- 
bonds and criminals to be sent to Louisiana — About foreign 
commerce — About carrying swords — About firing cannon in 
harbors of colonies — About redemptioners — About sailors 
deserting — About games of chance — Edict concerning negro 
slaves, known as the " Black Code " — About killing of cattle 
— About opening letters — About landing slaves — About the 
punishment of deserters — About military crimes and offenses 

— About exclusion of foreign commerce — Regulations for 
hospitals 83 

Chapter VI. Colonization. 

New Orleans in its beginning — War with the Natchez — Bien- 
ville's recall to France — His services — Early censuses — 
Notice of Dubreuil — Governor Perier — The Ursulines — New 
Orleans as seen by Sister Madeleine Hachard — The first resi- 
dence of the Ursulines — The convent — The ecclesiastical 
jurisdictions — The Capuchins and the Jesuits — The cur- 
rency—Progress of the colony — The early population of 
Louisiana — Massacre by the Natchez — The Yazoos join the 
Natchez — The Choctaws remain faithful to the French — 
Loubois attacks the Natchez — The Natchez routed by St. 
Denis — The Tunicas — Plot of the negroes — Governor Perier 
attacks the Natchez — The last stand of the Natchez — Ruin 
of the Natchez 98 

Chapter VII. Bienville's Wars with the Chickasaws. 
Vaudreuil, the Grand Marquis. The Seven 
Years' War. 

Character of Governor Perier — List of officers from 1725 to 
1730 — Surrender of the charter of the Company of the Indies 

— Return of Bienville — War with the Chickasaws — Bien- 



villc's retreat — Death of young D'Artaguette — Names of the 
principal officers — Bienville's narrative — Second expedition 
against the Chickasaws — Failure of the expedition — Celoron 
attacks the Indians — Bienville asks to be relieved — Founda- 
tion of the hospital — Hurricanes in 1740 — Request for the 
establishment of a college of the Jesuits — Brothers of the 
Christian schools — Bienville's departure from the colony — 
The Marquis de Vaudreuil — Hostilities with the Indians — 
Ordinances of Vaudreuil and Salmon — Vaudreuil's activity — 
His police regulations — Vaudreuil becomes Governor of Can- 
ada — Introduction of the sugar-cane — The last girls sent at 
the King's expense — Washington at Great Meadows and at 
Fort Necessity — Bossu's account of the Creoles — Bossu's 
description of New Orleans — Governor Kerlerec — The 
tragedy at Cat Island — Sad fate of Beaudreau — Unwise ad- 
ministration of France and of Louisiana — Marigny de Man- 
deville — Adventures of Belle-Isle — Defeat of the French in 
America 11 6 

Chapter VIII. The Cession of Louisiana to Spain. 
The Revolution of 1768. 

Choiseul— The treaty of Fontainebleau in 1762— The treaty 
of Paris in 1763 — Names of officials and officers in 1763 — 
Damaging report against Kerlerec — Expulsion of the Jesuits 
— West Florida — The Indians regret the French — Transfer 
of Mobile to the British — The Indians leave the British — 
Little Manchac — First arrival of the Acadians — Establish- 
ment of a printing-press — Letter of Louis XV announcing 
the cession to Spain — Charles III of Spain — Nyon de Villiers 
abandons Fort Chartres — Death of D'Abbadie— Aubry — 
Discontent of the colonists — Arrivals of Acadians — Sketch 
of the expulsion of the Acadians by the British — Names of 
officers at end of French domination — Don Antonio de Ulloa 
— Ulloa's unwise ordinance of September 6, 1766 — Petition 
of the merchants of New Orleans — Ulloa's haughtiness and 
lack of tact — Intense cold in 1768 — Aubry's position — The 
Revolution of 1768— The Council adopts Lafreniere's con- 
clusions — Foucault's opinion — Aubry's protest — Ulloa's de- 
parture — Delegates sent to France — Letters to Praslin and 
to the King— Address of the Council— Investigation about 
"vexations" committed by Ulloa— Letter of the inhabitants 
to Praslin— Ulloa's council— Life and works of Ulloa — 



Baudry des Loziere's opinion of Lafreniere — Lafreniere's 
chief associates — Noble sentiments of the Louisianians — Ex- 
pulsion of the Spanish frigate 141 

Chapter IX. Memorial of the Planters and Mer- 


Necessity of the Revolution — Love for the King of France — 
Promises of Louis XV in the name of the King of Spain — 
Arrival of Ulloa — His reception by the people — Important 
trades restricted by Ulloa — No outlet for products of Loui- 
siana in Spain — Louisiana to be made a rampart to Mexico — 
No advantage in being allowed to go to foreign countries 
when there is no market for goods in Spain — Ulloa introduces 
the Spanish law in spite of promise of Louis XV — Interdic- 
tion of the passes of the Mississippi — Accidents to vessels 
through Ulloa's order of interdiction — Ulloa closes brickyards 
— Ulloa prohibits the introduction of negroes — Ulloa treats 
respectful representations as seditious — Ulloa does not show 
his powers— Ulloa treats New Orleans as a conquered city — 
Ulloa maltreats the Germans and the Acadians — Ulloa's con- 
tempt for the ecclesiastical laws — Frenchmen have often 
shaken off a foreign yoke without consent of the government 
— The Spanish possessions better protected if Louisiana re- 
mains French — The loss of Canada renders Louisiana very 
useful to France — Close relations with merchants of France — 
Obstacle to the cession is love for the King of France — The 
flag of Spain was not insulted — Prayer to the King to take 
back the colony — The Memorial a noble paper 177 

Chapter X. O'Reilly in Louisiana. The Martyrs of 
the Revolution of 1768. 

Ulloa's account of the Revolution of 1768 — True motive of 
the opposition to Ulloa — Return of Lesassier — The repub- 
lican spirit in the colony — General O'Reilly's arrival — 
O'Reilly takes possession— O'Reilly asks of Aubry the names 
of the conspirators — Aubry acts as informer — Aubry's ac- 
count of Lafreniere's doings — Aubry's account of the Revo- 
lution — Aubry names the conspirators — His contemptible let- 
ter — Arrest of the chiefs of the Revolution — Death of Villere 
— Bossu's account of Villere's death— Character of Villere — 



O'Reilly's proclamation — O'Reilly's address to the con- 
spirators — The property of the prisoners confiscated — The 
inhabitants take the oath of allegiance — Aubry's report to the 
French minister — His tragic death — Testimony against Fou- 
cault — He is released — Act of accusation against the prison- 
ers — Part taken in the conspiracy by each of the prisoners — 
Sentence — The execution— Burning of the " Memorial of the 
Planters and Merchants "■ — No excuse for O'Reilly's cruelty 
— O'Reilly went beyond his instructions — Release of Petit 
and other prisoners from Morro Castle — Bienville de Noyan 
at Santo Domingo— End of the drama 206 

Chapter XI. Old Papers of Colonial Times. 

Interest of the papers of colonial times — Papers signed by 
Lafreniere and Foucault — A lawsuit and a petition in 1769 — 
Hunting cattle on the Gentilly coast — Establishment of the 
cabildo — The governor and the commandants — The alcaldes 
and the escribano — Case of the slave Bautista — Military life 
in 1795 — Petition from a lady in 1768 — Louison, the Indian, 
freed from slavery — Contract with the Acadians — Father 
Dagobert's induction into office — A petition from the inhabi- 
tants of Cabaha-noce — Suit against the memory of a sup- 
posed self-homicide — Petition in 1769 about a "carriage" 
(a pirogue) 231 



La Salle Takes Possession of Louisiana in the Name of 
King Louis XIV, April 9, 1682. Hand-finished Water-color 
Facsimile, reproduced from an original painting by T. de 
Thulstrup Frontispiece 

Robert Cavelier de la Salle, 1643-1687, the first explorer 
of the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico. From a painting 
by Leon Mayer, 1865, belonging to Mine. Suchet de la Ques- 
nerie. This painting was executed from the portrait of 
La Salle published in " Memoires ct Documents pour ser- 
vir a l'Histoire des Origines Franchises des Pays d'Outre- 
Mer," by Pierre Margry, and after the two only authentic 
iconographic documents which exist, viz., the full-face me- 
dallion engraving below the portrait to the left, belonging 
to M. Edouard Pelay of Rouen, and the profile drawing to 
the right, belonging to the Public Library at Rouen. The 
arms of La Salle are reproduced from d'Hozier's work on 
heraldry at the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris 14 

Map of Louisiana, reproduced from Father Louis Hennepin's 
" Description de la Louisiane, nouvellement decouverte au 
Sud-ouest de la Nouvelle France," first edition, 1683. This 
is the first map in which the name of " La Louisiane " ap- 
pears. The Mississippi was then known as the river Colbert, 
and its course is shown only to the " Mission des Recollets." 28 

Pierre le Moyne d'Iberville, 1 661— 1706, the founder of 
Louisiana. From a contemporary painting in the collection 
of the late M. Pierre Margry, and now belonging to M. 
Charles Chadenat, Paris 48 

Louis XIV, King of France, 1638-1715, after whom Loui- 
siana was named. From a painting by Hyaeinthe Rigaud in 
the Louvre Museum, Paris 64 



John Law of Lauriston, 1671-1729, founder of the Com- 
pany of the West, sometimes called the " Mississippi Bub- 
ble." From a painting by Alexis Simeon Belle in the 
National Portrait Gallery, London 80 

Philippe II, Due d'Orleans, Regent of France, 1674-1723, 
after whom the city of New Orleans was named. From a 
painting by Jean-Baptiste Santerre at the Versailles Mu- 
seum 100 

Jean-Baptiste le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville II, 1680-1768, 
three times Governor of Louisiana. From a contemporary 
painting in the collection of the late M. Pierre Margry, and 
now belonging to M. Charles Chadenat, Paris 120 

Pierre Rigaud, Marquis de Vaudreuil, 1678-1760, surnamed 
the " Grand Marquis," Governor of Louisiana. From a 
painting of the XVIII-century French school (artist un- 
known), formerly in possession of the Comtesse de Clermont- 
Tonnerre 136 

Louis Billouart, Chevalier de Kerlerec, 1704-1770, sur- 
named by the Indians " The Father of the Choctaws," Gov- 
ernor of Louisiana. From a contemporary portrait in pas- 
tel (artist unknown) belonging to the Vicomte de Villiers du 
Terrage, one of his lineal descendants 154 

Etienne-Francois, Due de Choiseul-Stainville, 1719-1785, 
the able minister of Louis XV, who signed the treaty of 
Fontainebleau, November 3, 1762. From a painting by Carle 
Van Loo, belonging to M. Wildenstein, Paris 170 

Louis XV, King of France, 1710-1774, who ceded Louisiana 
to Spain by the treaty of Fontainebleau, November 3, 1762 204 

Don Antonio de Ulloa, 1716-1795, first Spanish governor 
of Louisiana. From a contemporary painting (artist un- 
known) in the Naval Museum, Madrid 234' 


A native of Louisiana and a member of a family which 
established itself in New Orleans shortly after the foun- 
dation of that city in 1718, the author of this book may 
be permitted to say that he has written it con amore— avec 
amour, as he prefers to say in the language of his vener- 
ated ancestors. It teas indeed a labor of love to relate the 
history of Louisiana, from the discovery of the great 
Mississippi by the knightly De Soto to our own times. 
How pleasant it was to accompany La Salle down the 
mighty river to the Gulf of Mexico, to witness the heroic 
efforts of Iberville and Bienville to colonize Louisiana, 
to see the growth of New Orleans and be introduced to 
the brave men and gentle women who dwelt, in the eigh- 
teenth century, in the little town which they already con- 
sidered delightful and which they compared with pride 
to the Paris of Louis XV! How ennobling the Revolu- 
tion of 1768, when a handful of men rose against the 
oppresssion of a powerful foreign government and 
thought of establishing a republic on the banks of the 
Mississippi! How interesting the campaigns of Bernardo 
de Galvez against the British, which have given the Louisi- 
anians of to-day the right of belonging to the Society of 
the Sons of the American Revolution! 

The colonial history of French and of Spanish Louisi- 


ana is highly instructive and interesting, but no less so is 
the history of American Louisiana. On December 20, 
1803, Laussat transferred the province to the United 
States, and the Louisianians became, from that time, true 
Americans. Under the leadership of Jackson, they helped 
to repel the British from American soil, and from 1815 
to 1861, aided by worthy citizens from other parts of the 
Union, they strove earnestly to develop the ■wonderful 
resources of their State. When the Civil War broke out 
the men of Louisiana fought bravely for rights which they 
held sacred, and the women displayed a patriotism, a 
courage, fully equal to that of the men. More apparent 
still was that fortitude during the terrible years which 
followed the war, until the people regained, in 1877, the 
right of self-government, and made use of it to enjoy 
prosperity, liberty, and happiness. 

It is natural that the author of this book should take 
pride in relating the history of the events which took place 
on the soil of Louisiana for the last two hundred years. 
In nearly all of these events men of his name or of his 
blood took part. In spite of this personal interest in the 
history of Louisiana, the author has striven earnestly and 
honestly to be impartial and just in his narrative of facts 
and in his judgment of men. However, he has not re- 
frained from expressing indignation at unworthy deeds 
and praise for noble actions. In his opinion, impartiality 
does not preclude interest in events and warmth in relating 
them. History is not a mere chronicle of facts. It deals 
with the inner life of men, with their customs and man- 
ners, as well as with their political and warlike deeds. An 


attempt has therefore been made in this work to depict 
both the inner and the outward life of the people of Louisi- 
ana, and for that purpose they have often been allowed 
to express their feelings in their own words. The author 
has endeavored to revive the men and women of the past, 
to show them with their hearts throbbing with warm blood, 
with all the impulses of humanity. He knows very well 
that he has not succeeded in this arduous task, but he as- 
serts again that he has striven to do full justice to all the 
persons whose names he has mentioned. There is malice 
against none, if there is sometimes severity. 

It is impossible to write the History of Louisiana with- 
out consulting the works of Francois Xavicr Martin and 
Charles Gayarre, and grateful acknowledgment is made 
of the help derived from these distinguished historians. It 
icas the privilege of the author to have enjoyed the friend- 
ship of Mr. Gayarre and to have been encouraged by him 
in his work. The histories of Martin and of Gayarre 
were very useful guides, but they did not serve as a 
foundation for this book. The author used as a basis for 
it a large number of books by contemporaries, news- 
papers from the year 1794, and manuscript documents. 
The latter are principally to be found in the archives of 
the Louisiana Historical Society. They are, for the 
French Domination: Magne's "Notes et Documents," a 
large volume of 1106 pages, bought in May, 1845, front 
the compiler by the State of Louisiana; Pierre Margry's 
" Documents sur la Louisiane," a compilation made by 
Margry at the request and at the expense of Mr. John 
Perkins, who presented it to the Louisiana Historical So- 

xviii PREFACE 

cicty: the three volumes or parts bear the dates respectively 
of May, September, and December, 1849. There are also 
a volume of French manuscripts (Mississippi Valley) , one 
of official French orders, etc., and many boxes containing 
legal papers— petitions, marriage contracts, etc., from 
1719 to 1803. For the Spanish Domination the principal 
documents are four volumes of Spanish manuscripts, com- 
piled from the archives in Spain by the distinguished 
writer Pascual de Gayangos, in 1847, for the State of 
Louisiana, through the efforts of Mr. Gayarre. Besides 
the above, the author had the very valuable Memoir of 
Francisco Bouligny, which gives such a clear account of 
the condition of Louisiana in 1776, and which was kindly 
placed at his disposal by his cousin, Mrs. Albert Baldwin, 
a descendant of Francisco Bouligny. 

Many hours were spent among the archives at the Min- 
istry of the Colonies in Paris and at the City Hall in New 
Orleans, and at the Louisiana State Library and the 
Howard Memorial Library. Much useful and hitherto 
unpublished information was gathered in those places. 

At the end of each volume notes have been placed, where 
full acknowledgment has been made of the sources of this 
work. Literary honesty should be as complete as business 
honesty, and it is just as wrong to rob a man of his literary 
work as of his financial work. 

The author Irishes to express his sincere thanks to the 
kind friends who so generously placed at his disposal their 
valuable collections of books and j)o-mphlets relating to 
Louisiana history: Messrs. Gaspar Cusachs, Thomas P. 


Thompson, J. W. Cruzat, William Beer, and Dr. Joseph 

The history of Louisiana is intimately connected with 
the history of France, of Spain, and of the United States. 
On its pages one sees the names of Louis XIV , the labori- 
ous and stately monarch; of Louis XV, his despicable suc- 
cessor; of the able Charles III and the weak Charles IV 
of Spain; of Bonaparte, the wonderful captain and states- 
man; of Lafayette, the friend of Washington; of Thomas 
Jefferson, the wise President; of Andrew Jackson, the 
victorious general; of Jefferson Davis, the President of 
the Southern Confederacy; of William McKinley, the 
gracious and patriotic President. 

Our history is also gloriously connected with that of 
England. It is a noble and interesting history; it is that 
of a people who bore misfortune with courage and knew 
how to recover from it; of a people with an artistic tem- 
perament; of a people not perfect because human, but 
whose faults one may excuse on account of their gene- 
rosity, exalted patriotism, and chivalric sentiments. 

The author hopes that the pages of his work will bear 
out the truth of what he has stated in this preface. He 
does not hope that his readers will be as well pleased with 
the text as with the beautiful artistic setting given to it by 
the publishers. Let him at least be given the credit of 
having labored faithfully to present a true picture of his 
beloved Louisiana, once French, once Spanish, but now 
American forever. 

Alcee Fortier. 

New Orleans, September 16, 1903. 


Volume I 


The Spanish Explorers 


The Spanish explorers not successful within the limits of the present United 
States— Ponce de Leon discovers Florida— Pineda is said to have discovered 
the Mississippi -Vasquez de Ayllon in Florida— Parophilo de Narvaez— 
Cabeza and the Mississippi— De Soto's equipment -Spirit of his followers 
—Landing of De Soto— His treatment of the natives— The massacre of 
Vitachuco's warriors— Search for gold— The female cacique— Tuscaluza — 
Disaster at Mauvila— In the country of the Chickasaws— Discovery of 
the Mississippi -Death of De Soto— Luis de Moscoso. 

FTER Columbus had discovered the 

New World for the Crown of Cas- 
tile, the Spaniards undertook expe- 
ditions across the Atlantic Ocean and 
reaped a rich harvest in Peru and 
Mexico, where the boldness of Pi- 
zarro and of Cortez won for Spain 
immense provinces and countless treasures. The Span- 
ish explorers, however, were not successful within the 
limits of the country that is now the United States, meet- 
ing only with defeat and disaster. 

In 1512 Juan Ponce de Leon, a companion of Colum- 
bus in his second expedition, sailed from Porto Rico to 
search the island of Bimini, where he thought he should 


find the Fountain of Youth. He landed on March 27, 
Easter Sunday (Pascua Florida, in Spanish), and gave 
to the country he had discovered the pretty name of 
Florida. 1 He explored the coast and was received with 
hostility hy the Indians. In 1521 he endeavored to con- 
quer Florida, and was mortally wounded by the natives. 

In 1519 Alvarez de Pineda, who was sent on an explor- 
ing expedition by Francisco de Garay, Governor of Ja- 
maica, is said to have discovered the Mississippi River, 
and named it the Rio del Espiritu Santo. This fact has 
been accepted by several modern historians, but Mr. W. 
B. Scaife, 2 in 1892, and Mr. Peter J. Hamilton, 3 in 1898, 
appear to have proved that the Espiritu Santo was not the 
Mississippi, but the Mobile River. 

In 1520 Vasquez de Ayllon landed on the coast of 
Florida, now South Carolina, a country called Chicora by 
the Indians. De Ayllon treacherously carried away sev- 
eral Indians, to work in the gold-mines and on the planta- 
tions of the Spaniards. In 1525 he made another expedi- 
tion; but the Indians lured him into a feeling of safety 
and then massacred nearly all the invaders. The per- 
fidious De Ayllon himself was probably among the slain. 

The misfortunes of Ponce de Leon and of Vasquez de 
Ayllon did not deter Pamphilo de Narvaez from endea- 
voring to conquer Florida in 1528. The story of his ex- 
pedition also is one of disaster. Narvaez perished, and 
only five of his followers escaped from the fatal land 
discovered by Ponce de Leon. They succeeded in reach- 
ing Mexico after ten years of wandering, and one of the 
number, Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca, returned to Spain. 


In spite of his sufferings in Florida, Alvar Nunez gave 
a glowing description of the wealth of that country. In 
his wanderings he must have crossed the Mississippi 
River, hut he does not mention that fact. 

On hearing the narrative of Alvar Nunez, Hernando 
de Soto conceived the project of conquering Florida and 
its riches. 4 He had been a follower of Pizarro and one of 
the bravest and most chivalric of the conquistadorcs of 
Peru. He obtained from Charles V the permission to 
conquer Florida, and received the title of Governor and 
Captain-General of Cuba and Florida, and in the lat- 
ter country he was also to be adelantado, that is to say, 
he was to have absolute authority in military and civil 

Many of the noblest and most warlike men in Spain, 
soldiers of fortune, and Portuguese cavaliers, were eager 
to join De Soto's expedition. The commander chose six 
hundred men (some say nine hundred and fifty) from 
those who applied to him, and left Spain, on April 6, 1538, 
with a fleet of nine vessels. On his arrival in Cuba, De 
Soto spent a year in organizing his expedition, and when 
he sailed for Florida, on May 18, 1539, nothing was lack- 
ing in his equipment. He had artisans, miners, and 
chemists to work the gold-mines, chains and fetters and 
bloodhounds for the captives, and live stock for his men. 
He was himself bold, energetic, and enthusiastic; his fol- 
lowers were intrepid, and they were all confident of suc- 
cess ; but they carried with them the doom of the enterprise 
in the instruments for working the mines and torturing 
the captives. Greed for gold, and unrelenting cruelty, 


were too often traits of the Spanish conquerors, and their 
failures are to be attributed to their vices. We cannot 
but admire their fortitude and bravery, but we must con- 
demn their insatiable cupidity and their treatment of the 
natives. The cruelty of De Soto's predecessors in Florida, 
and his own implacable spirit, were to be the greatest hin- 
drance to his conquest. 

The Spanish fleet reached the bay of Espiritu Santo 
(Tampa Bay) on May 30, 1539, and in a few days the 
troops were debarked. The men were clad in glittering 
armor; most of them were armed with crossbows, swords, 
and lances, while eighteen had harquebuses, and there was 
one piece of ordnance. The Indians were hostile from 
the outset, but were terrified by the firearms and especially 
by the war-horses, covered with steel, like the men who 
rode them. The first village they met was that of Hirigue, 
six miles from the sea, and De Soto tried to conciliate the 
Indian chief. The latter, however, remained hostile, and 
so did Acuera, farther in the interior. The Indians re- 
membered the cruel deeds of De Ayllon and of Narvaez, 
and De Soto's conduct was not such as to pacify them. 
He captured and put in chains several savages, to serve 
as guides, and, on one occasion, he had some of these 
guides torn to pieces by bloodhounds, as he suspected 
them of treachery. 

The Spaniards continued their march toward the north, 
and, after a toilsome journey, reached the country of Vi- 
tachuco, a cacique who was hostile at first but afterward 
appeared to be friendly. Here happened a terrible event. 
Vitachuco, wishing to show his warriors to the invaders, 


assembled them all, on a certain day, as if for review. De 
Soto also said that he would display his soldiers, and he 
made them march fully armed before the Indians. All 
at once the Spaniards attacked Vitachuco's warriors and 
killed five hundred of them and captured nine hundred. 
The latter, soon afterward, revolted against their tyrants 
and were all put to death in cold blood. De Soto's excuse 
for this dreadful deed was, that if he had not attacked the 
Indians they would have massacred his men, and he 
had merely anticipated them. 

After this the natives were more hostile than ever, and 
the Spaniards lost many men in crossing the swamp called 
the Great Morass on their way to the Appalachee country. 
Here they hoped to find gold, and they established their 
winter quarters at the town of Anhayca, from which the 
inhabitants had fled. No gold, however, was to be found, 
and De Soto sent detachments to explore the country. 
One of his lieutenants came to the sea and discovered 
a favorable harbor near the village of Aute. The ships 
were ordered to go to that place; but as a better harbor 
was discovered in the bay of Achusi (now Pensacola), 
De Soto ordered his ships to bring supplies from Havana 
and to await him in Achusi Bay in the autumn of 1540. 
He was desirous of going to the province of Cofachiqui, 
where, it was said, gold was in abundance, and he passed 
through what is now the State of Georgia. The Indians 
were friendly, and supplied the Spaniards with food. 

Cofachiqui was ruled by a beautiful female cacique, 
who received the strangers with kindness. The latter, 
disappointed at not finding gold, plundered the sacred 


relics of the Indians and took all the jewels they con- 
tained. The troops were now anxious to form a settle- 
ment, but the governor resolved to continue his march, 
and he arrived, about the first of August, at the village 
of Coosa in the present State of Alabama. He then 
reached the country of Tuscaluza, a powerful chief, tall, 
handsome, and ferocious-looking. The cacique was hos- 
pitable to the strangers, but De Soto, as was his custom, 
got possession of the Indian chief under pretense of hon- 
oring him. He gave him a scarlet robe, mounted him on 
a horse, and took him on his expedition. The cacique 
saw that he was a prisoner, and when he arrived with 
the Spaniards at the town of Mauvila, on the Alabama 
River, he determined to free himself from his supposed 
guard of honor. He had secretly ordered all his war- 
riors to meet at Mauvila, and there the Spaniards suffered 
a terrible disaster. 

De Soto entered the town with two hundred infantry 
and half his cavalry, the main body of the army having 
been left behind under Luis de Moscoso. Shortly after 
the arrival of the vanguard in the town, the war-whoop 
of the Indians was heard, and the Spaniards were at- 
tacked by countless numbers. The battle raged furi- 
ously within the town, and then outside. The Indians 
fought with wonderful courage, but were not able to resist 
the attacks of the Spaniards after Moscoso had joined 
his chief. Mauvila was burned, thousands of Indians, 
men, women, and children, perished, and the Spaniards 
lost eighty-two men and forty-two horses. After this 
disaster De Soto resolved not to continue his march to 


Achusi Bay, as he discovered that his men would probably 
abandon the expedition if they came to the ships. He 
decided to return northward in search of the promised 
land of gold. 

He soon arrived at what is now the State of Mississippi, 
and in the country of the Chickasaws the Spaniards met 
with a disaster even greater than that at Mauvila. Their 
treatment of the Indians had been, as usual, harsh and 
even cruel, and the latter attacked them one night in large 
numbers. The town where they dwelt was burned, and 
they lost forty men, nearly all their herd of swine, fifty 
horses, and their baggage. They remained nearly with- 
out clothing and without weapons, and in a desperate 
situation. Their chief, however, inspired them with his 
courage and fortitude. They re-tempered their swords, 
made new lances and shields, and manufactured a fabric 
for clothing. 

After leaving the Chickasaw country, the Spaniards 
reached, in April, 1541, the banks of a great river. De 
Soto had discovered the mighty Mississippi. It was not 
far from the mouth of the Arkansas River, at about the 
thirty-fifth degree of latitude, that the Spanish chieftain 
first beheld the Mississippi, which he called the Rio 

The Spaniards crossed the Mississippi, and proceeded 
to the White River country in Arkansas. After they 
had marched northward for some time, the winter became 
very severe, and the invaders suffered intensely from 
the cold. They were also harassed by the natives, and 
De Soto resolved to return to the Mississippi, and to 


descend to its mouth in boats. He reached the village of 
Guachoya, about twenty miles below the mouth of the 
Arkansas, and there the intrepid captain expired, May 
21, 1542. He was buried in the great river he had dis- 
covered. He had named Luis de Moscoso his successor, 
and the latter, with about three hundred men, succeeded, 
after incredible sufferings, in sailing down the Mississippi 
and reaching the coast of Mexico. 

The expedition of Hernando de Soto was bold and 
romantic, and is important on account of the discovery of 
the Mississippi, but it required the wonderful energy and 
courage of Robert Cavelier de La Salle to enable the 
Europeans to colonize the country traversed by De Soto, 
and to take advantage of the great river that passes 
through Louisiana in its rapid course toward the Gulf 
of Mexico. 


The French Explorers 
marquette and joilet— hennepin — la salle 

Spirit of the French explorers— The St. Lawrence— Acadia — Quebec— The 
missionaries — Montreal— La Salle — Discovery of the Ohio — Marquette — 
Joliet — The Mississippi — Return of the explorers — Death of Marquette — 
La Salle's plans — Frontenac — Tonty — Hennepin — The Griffin — Fort Creve- 
coeur — Hennepin's expedition — Description of the Mississippi — Du Lhut 
— " Louis," Indian name for " sun," according to Hennepin — First mention 
of the name "Louisiane" — Gilmary Shea's opinion of Hennepin — La Salle 
at Fort Frontenac — The Iroquois and the Illinois — La Salle enters the 
Mississippi — The mouth of the Mississippi — Official account of taking pos- 
session — Father Membre's description of the Mississippi — Fort St. Louis 
of the Illinois— La Salle authorized to form a settlement — Fort St. Louis 
of Texas — Murder of La Salle — Destruction of La Salle's settlement. 

ORE than a century elapsed, after 
the discovery of the Mississippi by 
De Soto, before the mighty river 
was visited again by white men, and 
the explorers were no longer soldiers 
clad in armor and adventurers cruel 
and eager for gold, but peaceable 
men, whose only thought was their King and their God. 
Joliet and Marquette were very different from De 
Soto and Moscoso, and the humble trader and the saintly 
priest were as heroic as the warlike Spanish knights. 

From the expedition of Ponce de Leon to that of De 



Soto, the Spaniards had failed in their undertakings to 
conquer Florida and the country bordering on the Mis- 
sissippi. The French were more successful in the north. 
The Bretons, the Normans, and the Basques are said to 
have discovered the coast of North America before John 
Cabot, and in 1524 Verrazano was sent by Francis I 
to explore the Atlantic coast of our present United 
States. In 1534 Cartier entered the Gulf of St. Law- 
rence, and in 1535 he saw the future sites of Quebec and 
Montreal. He and Roberval attempted to establish a 
colony on the St. Lawrence River, but were not success- 
ful, and it was only in 1605 that a permanent settlement 
was effected at Port Royal by De Monts and Poutrin- 
court. This was the beginning of Acadia, which was to 
be celebrated in history and in romance. 

On the great St. Lawrence River Samuel Champlain 
laid the foundation of Quebec in 1608 and was the pioneer 
of New France. By the side of the French colonist and 
of the soldier stood the Catholic priest — at first the Re- 
collet friar, then the Jesuit father. The savage native 
must be taught the word of Christ, he must be civilized 
and become a faithful and peaceful subject of the King 
of France. Such was the task of the Jesuit missionary, 
and we follow him with wonder and admiration among 
the Indians, where his courage never falters, where his 
religious zeal is never abated, and where he gladly suf- 
fers martyrdom for the cause of his God and his country. 
The missionary of the seventeenth century may have 
been somewhat of a fanatic, but his defects were those of 
his age. His virtues were unflinching courage, unswerv- 


ing devotion to duty, and sincere piety. The names of 
Lejeune, Brebeuf, Gamier, Lallemand, Bressani, Jogues, 
Dablon, Allouez, Marquette, and of many other humble 
heroes, deserve to be inscribed in American history. Their 
missions often failed, and most of them fell victims to 
the rage of the barbarous savages, but, as Parkman ob- 
serves, their labors were not in vain. The Indians were 
civilized by them, to some extent, and in the wars of the 
eighteenth century, from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, 
we do not see the horrible deeds so frequent in the seven- 
teenth century. The Iroquois fiends tortured the priests 
and destroyed their missions ; but the fortitude and Chris- 
tian spirit of the martyrs exerted unconsciously an in- 
fluence over the demons of the Five Nations and of other 

The second city founded in Canada was Villemarie de 
Montreal, in 1642, and it owed its birth to religious en- 
thusiasm. " It was to be," says Parkman, " a sacred 
town, reared to the honor and under the patronage of 
Christ, St. Joseph, and the Virgin." The types of the 
founders are represented by the saintly Mademoiselle 
Mance and the brave and pious Maisonneuve. The town 
resisted the fury of the Indians and served as a refuge to 
the few missionaries who were not tortured by the Iro- 
quois, at the time of the destruction of the Hurons, of 
the Neutrals, and of the Andastes by the fierce warriors of 
the Five Nations. Montreal plays an important part 
in the history of the French explorers, who were to be 
the successors of the missionaries in the virgin forests and 
among the Indians. 



Although, in the first half of the seventeenth century, 
France possessed Quehec and Montreal, on the mighty 
St. Lawrence, the ambition of the officers of the King was 
to extend the dominion of their monarch beyond the Great 
Lakes, and to explore the country watered by the rivers 
flowing toward the west and the south. The man who 
was to accomplish this purpose was Robert Cavelier de 
La Salle. Robert Cavelier, known as La Salle, from 
the name of an estate near Rouen, was born, in 1643, of 
a wealthy burgher family, and was connected in his youth 
with the Jesuits, but he parted from the order on good 
terms and went in 1666 to Montreal, where he had a 
brother, Jean Cavelier, a Sulpitian priest. The Sulpi- 
tians at that time were the feudal lords of Montreal, and 
from them La Salle obtained the gratuitous grant of a 
tract of land at the place now called La Chine, eight or 
nine miles from Montreal. He soon began to effect a 
settlement, but as his mind was fired with the desire of 
exploring the great river so often mentioned by the In- 
dians, he sold his seigniory to procure the means for an 
expedition. He obtained the consent of the governor, 
Courcelles, and of the intendant, Talon, and set out on 
his first voyage of discovery, on July 6, 1669. Two Sul- 
pitian priests, Dollier de Casson and Gallinee, who were 
about to undertake an exploring expedition, were re- 
quested by Governor Courcelles to act in concert with 
La Salle. The latter parted from his companions in Sep- 
tember at a place called Otinawatawa, on Lake Ontario. 
Here he met Joliet, the future discoverer of the Missis- 
sippi. The Sulpitians went toward the upper lakes, and 


La Salle proceeded on his journey to discover the great 
rivers flowing south. There is some uncertainty about 
his explorations at that time, but there is no doubt that he 
discovered the Ohio River in 1671, and probably the Illi- 
nois also. To other explorers, however, belongs the honor 
of having been the first white men to rediscover the Mis- 
sissippi, after Hernando de Soto. 

The Jesuits had established missions on the upper lakes, 
among which were those at Saut Sainte-Marie, at St. 
Esprit, at Michilimackinac, and at Manatoulin Island. 
One of their most zealous and most courageous mission- 
aries was Jacques Marquette, and he was chosen to ac- 
company the fur-trader Louis Joliet on an expedition 
organized by Talon, the intendant, and approved by 
Count Frontenac, after the intendant's departure from 
the colony. 

Louis Joliet was born at Quebec in 1645. He was 
educated by the Jesuits and received the minor orders 
of that religious company, but he finally became a fur- 
trader. He was sent by the intendant Talon to explore 
the copper-mines of Lake Superior, and it was on his 
return that he met La Salle on Lake Ontario. He did 
not succeed in this expedition, but Talon, who appears to 
have had a high opinion of his intelligence and boldness, 
selected him to rediscover the Mississippi. Joliet's associ- 
ate, Father Jacques Marquette, was born at Laon in 1637. 
He was renowned for his energy, his gentleness, and 
his piety. His journal of the expedition is very in- 

The travelers set out from Michilimackinac on May 


17, 1673, in two birch canoes, with five men. They soon 
entered the Wisconsin River, and reached the Mississippi 
on June 17, 1673. 1 " Behold us then," says Marquette, 
" upon this celebrated river, whose singularities I have 
attentively studied. The Mississippi takes its rise in sev- 
eral lakes in the north. Its channel is very narrow at the 
mouth of the Wisconsin, and runs south until it is affected 
by very high hills. Its current is slow, because of its 
depth. In sounding we found nineteen fathoms of water. 
A little farther on it widens nearly three quarters of a 
league, and the width continues to be more equal. We 
slowly followed its course to the south and southeast to 
the 42° north latitude. Here we perceived the country 
change its appearance. There were scarcely any more 
woods or mountains. The islands were covered with fine 
trees, but we could not see any more roebucks, buffaloes, 
bustards, and swans. We met from time to time mon- 
strous fish, which struck so violently against our canoes, 
that first we took them to be large trees, which threat- 
ened to upset us. As we were descending the river we saw 
high rocks with hideous monsters painted on them, upon 
which the bravest Indians dare not look. As we fell down 
the river, and while we were discoursing upon these mon- 
sters, we heard a great rushing and bubbling of waters, 
and small islands of floating trees coming from the mouth 
of the Pekitanoui ( the Missouri ) , with such rapidity that 
we could not trust ourselves to go near it. The water of 
this river is so muddy that we could not drink it. It so 
discolors the Mississippi as to make the navigation of 
it dangerous. The river comes from the northwest, and 


flows into the Mississippi, and on its banks are Indian 
villages. We judged by the compass that the Mississippi 
discharged itself into the Gidf of Mexico. It would, 
however, have been more agreeable if it had discharged 
itself into the South Sea or the Gulf of California." 

The explorers descended the Mississippi to the mouth 
of the Arkansas River, and, having established the fact 
that the Mississippi flows into the Gulf of Mexico, they 
set out on their return journey on July 17, 1673, and 
reached Green Bay at the end of September. Joliet went 
to Quebec, where the news of his discovery was received 
with great joy, and Marquette remained at the mission. 
The last words of the latter's journal testify to his sin- 
cere piety: " If my perilous journey had been attended 
with no other advantage than the salvation of one 
soul, I would think my perils sufficiently rewarded. I 
preached the Gospel to the Illinois of Perouacca for three 
days together. My instructions made such an impression 
upon these poor people that when we were about to depart 
they brought to me a dying child to baptize, which I did, 
about half an hour before he died, and which, by a spe- 
cial providence, God was pleased to save." In 1674 Fa- 
ther Marquette undertook to found a mission among the 
Illinois, and he died on May 19, 1675. Like his prede- 
cessors, Brebeuf, Lallemand, and Jogues, he was a mar- 
tyr to his faith. 

The discoveries of Marquette and Joliet are important, 
but they led to no practical results. La Salle's explora- 
tions are much more valuable. He intended to hold the 
whole country for the French King, from the Great 


Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico, establishing colonies and 
keeping the Indians in check by posts in the interior, and 
the Spaniards and the English by a fort at the mouth 
of the Mississippi. Fortunately, in Count Frontenac he 
found a zealous and powerful protector. The latter left 
Quebec, and with a small force of soldiers and volunteers 
struck boldly into the country of the Iroquois. He over- 
awed the Indians and built a fort, which La Salle called 
Fort Frontenac, and of which he obtained the grant from 
the King, when he made a voyage to France in 1674. He 
obtained also letters patent of nobility. His seigniory 
prospered, but he cared not for riches. He was anxious 
to explore the western and southern parts of New France, 
and when he went to France in 1677 he obtained from the 
King in 1678 a patent that authorized him to explore the 
country, to build forts, and to find a way to Mexico, pro- 
vided his enterprise be accomplished within five years. He 
also obtained the monopoly of trade in buffalo hides. La 
Salle met in France Henri de Tonty, who sailed with 
him for Canada and became his ablest and most faithful 
lieutenant. Tonty was an Italian, had lost a hand in 
the Sicilian wars, and had replaced it by an iron one. He 
is one of the most sympathetic characters to be found in 
early American history. 

On arriving at Quebec, La Salle found awaiting him 
Father Louis Hennepin, who was to play an important 
part in the proposed expedition. Hennepin was a Re- 
collet friar, born in Hainault, and had settled at Fort 
Frontenac in 1675. He was inured to fatigue and was 
bold, but was conceited and apparently mendacious. His 


first work, " Description de la Louisiane " (Paris, 1683), 
is important and interesting and tolerably accurate; but 
after La Salle's death huge falsehoods appeared in the 
friar's books. He and Lamothe preceded La Salle to the 
Niagara River, where, two leagues above the Falls, La 
Salle decided to build a ship. The explorer himself set 
out on foot for Fort Frontenac, a distance of two hundred 
and fifteen miles, and left Tonty to finish the vessel. 
This was done, and the ship was named the Griffin, She 
was ready for the expedition, but several months passed 
before La Salle returned. He reported that his creditors 
had seized his property in Canada. This, however, did 
not deter him. He sailed on the Griffin into Lake Erie, 
then into the Strait of Detroit, and then passed from Lake 
St. Clair into the wide Lake Huron. He reached the 
Jesuit mission of Michilimackinac, entered Lake Michi- 
gan, and, at the entrance of Green Bay, found some of 
his men with a large quantity of furs. These furs he 
resolved, unfortunately, to send to Niagara on board of 
the Griffin, and he never again heard of his vessel or his 
furs. He continued his expedition in canoes, and entered 
the St. Joseph River among the Miamis. Then, shoul- 
dering their canoes, the men reached the Illinois River. 
In the country of the Illinois, La Salle built Fort Creve- 
coeur, and, as several of his men had deserted him, and 
he was in great need of succor, he set out on foot for 
Fort Frontenac, giving orders to build a new vessel in his 
absence. Before leaving, he sent Father Hennepin to 
explore the Illinois River to its mouth. 

In the winter of 1680 Hennepin set out on his expedi- 


tion. He was accompanied by Accau and Du Gay. In 
his " Description of Louisiana " 2 he says that he came 
to the mouth of the river Seignelay (Illinois) on March 
7, 1680, then he adds: " The river Colbert (Mississippi) 
runs south-southwest, and comes from the north and 
northwest ; it runs between two chains of mountains, very 
small here, which wind with the river, and in some places 
are pretty far from the banks, so that between the moun- 
tains and the river there are large prairies, where you 
often see herds of wild cattle browsing. In other places 
these eminences leave semi-circular spots covered with 
grass or wood. Beyond these mountains you discover 
vast plains, but the more we approach the northern side 
ascending, the earth did not appear to us so fertile, nor ' 
the woods so beautiful as in the Illinois country. 

" This great river is almost everywhere a short league 
in width, and in some places two leagues; it is divided 
by a number of islands covered with trees, interlaced with 
so many vines as to be almost impassable. It receives no 
considerable river on the western side except that of the 
Otontenta, and another, which comes from the west-north- 
west, seven or eight leagues from the Falls of St. An- 
thony of Padua." 

Hennepin says that on April 11, 1680, he and his com- 
panions were captured by a band of one hundred and 
twenty Sioux. After many adventures they were found, 
on July 25, 1680, not far from the Falls of St. Anthony, 
by a celebrated coureur de bois, Greysolon du Lhut, ac- 
companied by four Frenchmen. On Du Lhut's promis- 
ing to come back with goods, Hennepin was allowed to 
return with him by way of the Wisconsin River. 



Hennepin's " Description de la Louisiane, nouvelle- 
ment decouverte au Sud-Ouest de la Nouvelle France " 
was dedicated to Louis XIV. The author says: " We 
have given the name of Louisiane [Louisiana] to this 
great Discovery, heing persuaded that your Majesty 
would not disapprove that a part of the earth watered by 
a river more than eight hundred leagues in length, and 
much greater than Europe, which we may call the De- 
light of America, and which is capable of forming a great 
Empire, should henceforth be known under the august 
name of Louis, that it may thereby have some show 
of right to aspire to the honor of your protection, and 
hope for the advantage of belonging to you." The 
author adds that the Indians call the sun " Louis " in 
their language, and that God had destined the King to 
be the master of the new country. About this assertion 
Parkman says: " The Yankton band of this people 
(the Sioux), however, call the sun oouee, which, it is evi- 
dent, represents the French pronunciation of Louis, omit- 
ting the initial letter." 

With regard to the name Louisiane mentioned by 
Hennepin, we find it for the first time in Margry's " Ori- 
gines francaises des Pays d'Outre Mer," page 21, Vol. II, 
in a grant of an island to Francois Daupin, signed by 
La Salle, June 10, 1679: " in a year from the day of our 
return from the voyage which we are going to make for 
the discovery of Louisiane {pour la descouverte de la 
Louisiane) ." 

As we have already said, Hennepin's " Description " 
is important, but in 1697 another work was published, 
dedicated to King William III of England, in which 


Hennepin declared that he had discovered the mouth of 
the Mississippi before La Salle. The title of the book 
is: " Nouvelle Decouverte d'un tres grand pays situe dans 
l'Amerique " (Utrecht). In a third work, " Nouveau 
Voyage d'un pays plus grand que l'Europe " (Utrecht, 
1698), the claim made in the second work is repeated. 
This is evidently a falsehood, but in justice to Hennepin 
it must be said that it is maintained by Gilmary Shea, in 
his scholarly edition of " Description of Louisiana," that 
the Recollet monk should be exonerated from inten- 
tional plagiarism and falsehood. According to Shea, the 
Dutch publishers of Hennepin's work interpolated in the 
book, without his knowledge, the account of La Salle's 
journey in 1682 to the mouth of the Mississippi, to be 
found in Le Clercq's " Etablissement de la Foi," an ac- 
count written by Zenobe Membre and Anastase Douay, 
two of La Salle's companions. 

We left La Salle on his journey from Fort Crevecceur 
to Fort Frontenac. It required sixty-five days of hard- 
ship to reach his destination, and on arriving at Fort 
Frontenac he received a letter from Tonty announcing 
the mutiny and desertion of most of the men at Fort 
Crevecceur. La Salle succeeded in intercepting and 
punishing some of the deserters, and then set out to meet 

During La Salle's absence the Iroquois invaded the 
country of the Illinois, and nearly destroyed that tribe. 
Tonty tried to protect the Illinois, and came near being 
killed by the Iroquois. One of his companions, old Fa- 
ther Ribourde, was murdered, and Tonty, with Father 


Zenobe Membre, Boisrondet, and two men, managed to 
escape, after many adventures. La Salle made an alli- 
ance with tbe Miamis and other tribes, met Tonty at 
Michilimackinac, and returned with him to Fort Fron- 
tenac to obtain the means to undertake, for the third time, 
to descend the Mississippi to its mouth. 

La Salle's party consisted of twenty-three Frenchmen, 
eighteen Indians, ten squaws, and three Indian children. 
They dragged their canoes from the Chicago to the Illi- 
nois River, and after reaching Lake Peoria they floated 
down the Illinois, and on February 6, 1682, they entered 
the Mississippi. On February 24 they encamped near 
the Third Chickasaw Bluffs, and there Pierre Prud- 
homme, having gone out hunting, was lost for ten days. 
La Salle gave to the fort he built at that place the name 
of the unlucky hunter. On March 14 he took possession, 
in the King's name, of the country of the Arkansas, with 
the " consent " of the Indians. 

The explorers continued their journey without further 
mishap, making friends of the Indians who lived on the 
banks of the river and who belonged to the tribes of the 
Arkansas, the Tensas, the Natchez, the Coroas, the Ou- 
mas, and the Quinipissas. At length, on April 6, 1682, 
La Salle reached three channels, into which the river di- 
vided itself, and, following the western channel, he sent 
some of his men by the other two. They soon arrived at 
the Gulf of Mexico, and there, on April 9, La Salle took 
possession of the country, which he had already called 
Louisiana, in the name of Louis XIV. The following 
official account was drawn up by the notary of Fort Fron- 


tenac, a member of the expedition, Jacques de la Me- 
tairie : s 

At about the twenty-seventh degree of elevation from the pole, 
a column and a cross were prepared, and on the column were 
painted the arms of France with this inscription : " Louis le 
Grand, Roy de France et de Navarre, regne le 9 e Avril, 1682." 
All being under arms, they chanted the Te Dcum, the Exaudiat, 
and the Dom'rne, salvum fac Re gem; then, after volleys of mus- 
ketry and shouts of " Vive le Roy," M. de La Salle planted the 
column, and, standing near it, said in a loud voice in French : 

" In the name of the most high, mighty, invincible, and vic- 
torious Prince, Louis the Great, by the Grace of God King of 
France and of Navarre, Fourteenth of that name, I, this ninth 
day of April, one thousand six hundred and eighty-two, in virtue 
of the commission of his Majesty, which I hold in my hand, and 
which may be seen by all whom it may concern, have taken and 
do now take, in the name of his Majesty and of his successors to 
the crown, possession of this country of Louisiana, the seas, har- 
bors, towns, villages, mines, minerals, fisheries, streams, and rivers, 
within the extent of the said Louisiana, from the mouth of the 
great river St. Louis, otherwise called the Ohio, Olighinsipou or 
Chukagoua, and this with the consent of the Chaouesnons, Chi- 
cachas, and other peoples residing there with which we have 
made alliance, as also along the river Colbert, or Mississippi, and 
the rivers which discharge themselves thereinto, from its source 
beyond the country of the Nadouessioux, and this with their con- 
sent and of the Ototantas, Islinois, Matsigames, Akansas, Nat- 
chez, Koroas, who are the most considerable nations that reside 
there, with which we have made alliance by ourselves or through 
persons in our name, as far as its mouth at the sea, or Gulf of 
Mexico, and also to the mouth of the River of Palms, upon the 
assurance we have had from the natives of these countries, that 
we are the first Europeans who have descended or ascended the 


said river Colbert; hereby protesting against all who may here- 
after undertake to invade any or all of these aforesaid countries, 
peoples, or lands, to the prejudice of the rights of his Majesty, 
acquired by the consent of the nations dwelling herein. Of which, 
and of all else that is needful, I hereby take to witness those who 
hear me, and demand an act of the notary here present." A cross 
was planted, and a leaden plate was buried near it, bearing the 
arms of France on one side and a Latin inscription: Ludovicus 
Magnus rcgnat nemo Aprilis 168%; and on the other: Robertus 
Cavelier, cum domino dc Tonty, legato, R. P. Zenobio Membre, 
Recollecto, et Viginti Gallis, primus hoc flumen inde ab Ilineomvm 
pago enavigavit, ejusque ostium fecit pervium nono Aprilis anni 
1682. The Vexilla and the Domine, salvum fac Regem were sung 
in front of the cross, and the ceremony ended with shouts of 
" Vive le Roy ! " The signers of the act were : De La Salle, F. 
Zenobe, Recollect missionnaire, Henry de Tonty, Francois de Bois- 
rondet, Jean Bourdon, sieur d'Autray, Jacques Cavehois, Gilles 
Meneret, Jean Michel, chirurgien, Jean Mas, Jean du Lignon, 
Nicolas de La Salle, La Metairie, notaire. 

Father Zenobe Membre, in a letter from the river Mis- 
sissippi, June 3, 1682, says: " The great river Mississippi 
is very beautiful in all places, without any fall or rapid 
from the Arkansas to the sea. It is full of crocodiles ; its 
inundations in the spring spoil all its banks. The bless- 
ings of the earth come there so happily that at the end 
of April the Indian wheat was in bloom at the Coroas, 
and the blossoms as high as poles. It is here the country 
of canes, laurels, and palms ; there is an infinity of mul- 
berry trees, of which we eat the fruit every day from the 
beginning of May. In fifty days the wheat ripens." 

The great explorer had succeeded in his efforts and had 
descended the mighty Mississippi to its mouth. He now 


wished to colonize Louisiana, named for the stately mon- 
arch at Versailles. In order to strengthen his position in 
the north, after his return from the mouth of the Mis- 
sissippi, he established among the Illinois a colony of 
Indians, which he called Fort St. Louis. He was very suc- 
cessful in this enterprise, but his patron, Count Fron- 
tenac, was recalled to France, and his successor, Le 
Febvre de la Barre, was not friendly to La Salle and dis- 
possessed him of Fort St. Louis. La Salle, therefore, 
went to France to obtain justice from the King, and to 
present his plan for establishing a colony at the mouth 
of the Mississippi and for conquering the province of 
New Biscay in Mexico. 

The explorer had an interview with Louis XIV him- 
self, and his plans were favorably received both by the 
King and by his minister Seignelay, the distinguished 
son of Colbert. La Salle was authorized to form a set- 
tlement at the mouth of the Mississippi, and La Barre 
was ordered to surrender all that belonged to the explorer. 
Four vessels were given to him, and he took with him sol- 
diers, mechanics, laborers, volunteers, several families, and 
a number of girls. He had also his brother Cavelier, who 
was a Sulpitian priest, two other priests of that order, 
three Recollet friars, Zenobe Membre his former compan- 
ion, Anastase Douay, Joutel, and Maxime Le Clercq. 
Unfortunately, the command of the expedition was di- 
vided: Beaujeu was to direct the vessels, and La Salle to 
direct the route and command the men on land. As is 
usually the case, the two commanders did not agree. 

The ships sailed from La Rochelle on July 24, 1684, 


and reached Santo Domingo after a voyage of two 
months. On the island La Salle was very ill, and when 
he resumed his journey he appeared to have hecome irri- 
table and to distrust Beaujeu. The ships entered the 
Gulf of Mexico, but passed by the mouth of the Missis- 
sippi and went to the coast of what is now Texas. La 
Salle mistook the entrance of Matagorda Bay for one 
of the mouths of the Mississippi, and resolved to establish 
his colony there. One of his vessels, the Aimable, was 
wrecked, laden with the stores of the colony, and Beaujeu 
returned to France on the Joly. Shortly after the de- 
parture of the Joly, La Salle discovered that he was not 
at the mouth of the Mississippi. He did not lose courage, 
however, but built a fort, which he called St. Louis, and 
set out on an expedition to find the " fatal river." In his 
absence he gave the command of the fort to Joutel, the 
historian of the expedition and his most trusty follower. 
La Salle was absent several months, and was unsuccess- 
ful in his search. Shortly after his return his only remain- 
ing vessel, the Belle, was wrecked. There was now no 
way of reaching the Mississippi by sea, and La Salle 
formed the bold plan of going to Canada to get help for 
his colony. He departed with sixteen followers, among 
whom were his faithful Joutel, his brother Cavelier, their 
nephews Moranget and young Cavelier, the friar Anas- 
tase Douay, Duhaut, the surgeon Liotot, the German 
Hiens, the pilot Teissier, Duhaut's servant, and Nika, La 
Salle's Indian hunter. 

It appears that the great explorer was a stern com- 
mander, not knowing how to make himself popular with 


men who could not understand his indomitable energy 
and courage. Moranget, his nephew, was violent and 
rash and offended Duhaut. The latter made a plot with 
Hiens, Teissier, and Larcheveque, and when they were 
sent to get some food they murdered in their sleep Mo- 
ranget, Nika the hunter, and Saget, La Salle's servant. 
The commander, not seeing Moranget return, went with 
Father Anastase Douay and an Indian to look for his 
nephew. He met Duhaut, who spoke to him with inso- 
lence, and as La Salle advanced to chastise him a shot was 
fired and La Salle was killed. Thus died, on March 18, 
1687, one of the most remarkable men that history pre- 
sents to us, one whose labors, though apparently unsuc- 
cessful, rendered possible the settlement of Louisiana. 

Nearly all the murderers of La Salle were killed in 
their turn, some by their accomplices, others by the 
Indians. Cavelier and his young nephew, Joutel, and 
Anastase Douay succeeded in reaching Fort St. Louis 
of the Illinois. Tonty, the chivalric and devoted 
companion of La Salle, had descended, in 1685, to the 
mouth of the Mississippi to meet his chief, and, not find- 
ing him, left a letter for him and returned to the Illinois. 
We shall see him again in Louisiana with Iberville, when 
that gallant Canadian has succeeded, in 1699, in effect- 
ing a settlement in the country explored and named by La 
Salle. As to the latter's colony at Fort St. Louis of 
Texas, it was destroyed by the Indians. Tonty tried to 
rescue the colonists, but could not reach the fort, and the 
Spaniards from Mexico, having made an expedition to 
dislodge the French, found at La Salle's Fort St. Louis 

K> * f 


no human beings. A few of the unfortunates were dis- 
covered among the Indians, and were rescued by the 
Spaniards. Iberville and Bienville are the founders of 
Louisiana, but we should always remember in our history 
the name of the heroic explorer, Robert Cavelier de La 


The Settlement of Louisiana 


The condition of France from 1687 to the treaty of Ryswick — Maurepas 
chooses Iberville for the Louisiana expedition — The sons of Charles Le 
Moyne — Names of Le Moyne's children— Joutel's " Relation "—Father Anas- 
tase Douay — Iberville arrives at Ship Island in February, 1699— Recep- 
tion of Iberville by the Indians — The first fort at Biloxi — Iberville finds the 
mouth of the Mississippi — Exploration of the river — Origin of name Baton 
Rouge— Pointe Coupee — Tonty's letter — Iberville starts to return to his 
ships — Iberville River, Lakes Maurepas and Pontchartrain, Bay St. Louis 
— Success of Iberville's expedition — Sauvole the first commandant or gov- 
ernor of Louisiana — Visit of Bayagoula chiefs and their squaws — The 
"English Turn" — Return of Iberville— Fort on the Mississippi— Fort Ro- 
salie— Le Sueur's "blue and green earth" — Bienville's journey to the 
northwest — Death of Sauvole — Bienville in command — Iberville's last 
voyage to Louisiana — War of the Spanish Succession — The seat of the 
colony removed from Biloxi — Fort Louis de la Mobile— Commissary de 
La Salle— Curate de la Vente — Death of Iberville. 

ROM La Salle's death in 1687, 
several years elapsed before another 
attempt was made to explore and 
colonize Louisiana, and the only 
white men to be seen in the vast coun- 
try watered by the Mississippi were 
bold adventurers, coureurs de bois, 
who traded with the Indians and led their wild life, and 
devoted missionaries ever ready to endure all hardships in 
order to convert the Indians to the religion of Christ. 
The condition of France, shortly after the failure of 



La Salle's colony, was not favorable for another colonial 
expedition. In 1688 James II of England was over- 
thrown, and Louis XIV received him in a regal man- 
ner. The French monarch assigned to the dethroned 
Stuart as his residence St. Germain-en-Laye, the beau- 
tiful castle of Francis I, and gave him an army, that 
he might reconquer his kingdom. James was defeated 
at the Boyne, and William of Orange, the implacable 
enemy of Louis, organized a coalition in Europe against 
France. The great admiral Tourville was vanquished 
at La Hogue; but on the Continent Luxembourg and 
Catinat were victorious, as formerly Conde and Tu- 
renne. Louis XIV, although victorious, signed in 1697 
the treaty of Ryswick, by which he recognized William 
III as King of England. He consented to this peace, 
humiliating to his pride, because he saw that Charles II 
of Spain was dying, and he wished to be prepared to take 
possession of the immense succession of the last Spanish 
monarch of the house of Austria. 

Colbert and his son Seignelay were both dead, and in 
1697 the minister of marine was Louis de Phelypeaux, 
Count de Pontchartrain, with whom was associated his 
son Jerome, Count de Maurepas, who became minister 
of marine in 1699. In 1694 Henri de Tonty, the faithful 
companion of La Salle, offered his services to continue 
the undertaking of the latter in order to forestall the 
English. The Sieur de Remonville, in 1697, proposed the 
formation of a company to colonize Louisiana. Jerome 
Pontchartrain (Maurepas), however, says Margry, 1 
" thought that land officers could not fulfil properly a 


mission for which maritime knowledge was necessary." 
He chose, therefore, in 1G98, for the Louisiana expedi- 
tion, a brilliant marine officer, Pierre Le Moyne dTber- 
ville, a Canadian by birth, of whom one of the directors 
of the Hudson Bay Company had said that " he was as 
military as his sword." Iberville had lately distinguished 
himself in Hudson Bay, where, with one vessel, he fought 
against three English ships, sinking one, capturing the 
second, and putting the third to flight. Jerome Pont- 
chartrain summoned him to the court at Versailles and 
intrusted him with the task of re-discovering the Mis- 

Iberville was the third son of Charles Le Moyne, a 
native of Dieppe, who had emigrated to Canada at the 
age of fourteen, and in 1676 had become Sieur de Lon- 
gueil. His wife was Catherine Primot. Charles Le 
Moyne's family may be compared with that of the 
Norman nobleman of the eleventh century, Tancrede 
de Hauteville. They each had sons who were intrepid 
warriors and wise men. Those of the Sieur de Haute- 
ville were not more heroic than the sons of the Sieur 
de Longueil. The former founded principalities and 
kingdoms in Italy and in the Orient, and we see in his- 
tory and in romance the names of Robert Guiscard and 
his son Bohemond of Tarentum, of Roger of Sicily, and 
of Tasso's perfect knight, Tancred, who won the love 
of the fair and heroic Clorinda and then slew her in 
combat without knowing her. The Canadian brothers, 
of whom nine were distinguished, were of Norman blood, 
and, like William who defeated Harold the Saxon and 



conquered England, they were both warriors and states- 
men. Three of them were killed righting for their King, 
and two were to be the founders of Louisiana. No names 
are more important in our history than those of Iberville 
and Bienville, sons of Charles Le Moyne. 

Charles Le Moyne and Catherine Primot had four- 
teen children, 2 as follows: Charles, Sieur de Longueil; 
Jacques, Sieur de Sainte-Helene; Pierre, Sieur d'lber- 
ville; Paul, Sieur de Maricourt; Francois, Sieur de Bien- 
ville I; Joseph, Sieur de Serigny; Louis, Sieur de Cha- 
teauguay I; Jean-Baptiste, Sieur de Bienville II; An- 
toine, Sieur de Chateauguay II; Francois-Marie, Sieur 
de Sauvole; Catherine- Jeanne ; Marie-Anne; Gabriel, 
and a child who died on the day of his birth. 

Pierre Le Moyne, Sieur d'Iberville, was born at Ville- 
marie (Montreal) on July 16, 1661. The biographers 
of his family call him " the greatest warrior that Canada 
has produced." He died on July 9, 1706, and left a son 
and a daughter. His widow married in France M. de 
Bethune, lieutenant-general in the armies of the King. 
Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville II, was born 
at Villemarie (Montreal) on February 23, 1680, and 
died in Paris on March 7, 1768. Jacques, Sieur de 
Sainte-Helene, was killed at the siege of Quebec in 1690. 
Francois, Sieur de Bienville I, was killed at Repentigny 
in 1691. Sauvole was killed by the savages in 1687.' ! 
Paul, Sieur de Maricourt, distinguished himself with 
Iberville in Hudson Bay; he was employed several times 
upon important missions to the Iroquois, and was known 
among them under the symbolic name of Taouistaouisse, 4 


or " little bird that is always in motion." Joseph, Sieur 
de Serigny, became a captain in the royal navy and dis- 
tinguished himself in Louisiana. He died Governor of 
Rochefort in 1723. Louis, Sieur de Chateauguay (or 
Chateaugue) I, was killed in 1694, fighting by the side 
of Iberville. Antoine, Sieur de Chateauguay II, aided 
Bienville in the colonization of Louisiana. He served 
afterward at Martinique, was Governor of Cayenne from 
1737 to 1744, Governor of He Royale in 1745, and died 
at Rochefort in 1747. Catherine Jeanne married Pierre 
Payen, Seigneur de Noyan. Marie- Anne married the 
Sieur de la Chassaigne. Several of the nephews of Bien- 
ville served in Louisiana: Sainte-Helene, who was killed 
by the savages, the Baron de Longueil, and several Noy- 
ans, among whom was one of the " martyrs " of the Revo- 
lution of 1768. 

Pontchartrain was desirous that Joutel, who was then 
living at Rouen, should accompany Iberville on his voy- 
age; but the historian of La Salle's last expedition did 
not wish to run the risk of another exploration. His 
" Relation," however, was sent to Iberville by Pontchar- 
train, and Father Anastase Douay was induced to join 
the expedition. He had been a companion of La Salle in 
his journey to the mouth of the Mississippi, and in the ill- 
fated expedition of 1684. He had been more fortunate 
than Father Zenobe Membre, who perished at Fort St. 
Louis of Texas. 

Iberville's fleet sailed from Brest on October 24, 1698; 
it consisted of two small frigates — the Badine, com- 
manded by Iberville himself, and the Marin, commanded 



by the Chevalier de Surgeres — and two store-ships. At 
Santo Domingo the Marquis de Chateaumorant, comman- 
der of the war-ship Francois, a nephew of the great Tour- 
ville, joined the expedition and accompanied it to its desti- 
nation. Iberville took as pilot Lawrence de Graaf, a 
celebrated buccaneer, and on January 25, 1699, anchored 
before the island of St. Rosa. On the mainland the Span- 
iards had formed a settlement at Pensacola, and the com- 
mander did not allow the French to enter the harbor. 
They sailed, therefore, to Mobile Bay, and explored an 
island on which they found a heap of human bones, which 
they called Massacre Island. The ships proceeded to the 
Chandeleur Island; then a pass was found between Cat 
Island and Ship Island, and there they cast anchor. On 
February 13, 1699, 5 Iberville and his brother Bienville 
went to the mainland, where, an old man and a squaw hav- 
ing been well treated by the French, the Indians were 
persuaded to meet them. The savages, who were Biloxis, 
were delighted with the treatment they received from the 
white men. " Iberville took to his ship four of these sav- 
ages, and left his brother on land as a hostage. The same 
evening eighty Bayagoulas arrived at that coast, going 
to make war against the Mobilians. All that could be 
learned from this nation was that they were established 
on the banks of a large river, which they showed toward 
the west." 6 

Penicaut, the carpenter, who has left us an interesting 
narrative of the events that took place in Louisiana dur- 
ing his stay there, says that, after a fort had been built 
at Biloxi, several chiefs came to see Iberville and honored 


him greatly. They presented the calumet for him to 
smoke, then they rubbed his face with white earth. For 
three days they danced and sang three times a day. On 
the third day they planted a post before the fort, and went 
to get Iberville. One of the Indians took him on his back, 
while another held up his feet, and they carried him to the 
post to the sound of their chichicois. These were gourds 
filled with pebbles, with which a strange noise was pro- 
duced. The commander was placed on a deerskin, and 
a chief put his hands on his shoulders from behind and 
rocked him as if he were a baby going to sleep. Then 
the savages struck the post one after another with a 
wooden hatchet, relating each time their heroic deeds, — 
and " even more," adds Penicaut. Presents were given 
to them, and they were much astonished at the noise made 
by the firing of the guns. 

The first fort built by Iberville was on the northeast 
side of the bay of Biloxi, 7 a little to the rear of what is 
now Ocean Springs. The place is less exposed to storms 
than the land fronting on the Sound. Although the 
French arrived at Biloxi on February 13, 8 they must have 
been delighted with the appearance of the place. On 
landing from their boats they stepped on sand as white 
as silver, over which rolled gently the blue waves of the 
Gulf ; before them were spread as a curtain the tall pine- 
trees, among which were seen majestic live-oaks and 
splendid magnolias, while birds of all colors chirped and 
sang incessantly amid the boughs. Not far from the 
coast they saw Deer Island, and in their boats they passed 
between the island and the shore, and on turning the 

1699] BILOXI 37 

point they soon reached the heautiful bay of Biloxi. 
The site chosen by Iberville for his fort was certainly 
charming, but he made a mistake in trying to establish 
his colony on a land distant from any large river, and 
which proved to be stei'ile. 

The Marquis de Chateaumorant took leave of Iberville 
on February 21, 1699, and on February 27 the latter 
set out with two rowboats and two birch canoes in search 
of the large and fatal river, the Palissada of the Span- 
iards, the Malbanchya of the Indians on the Gulf coast. 
Iberville was accompanied by the Sieur de Sauvole, his 
brother Bienville, Father Anastase Douay, and forty- 
eight men, with provisions for twenty days. They sailed 
until March 2, and on that day the mouth of the great 
Mississippi was re-discovered. He endeavored to double 
a point of rocks, " but," says Iberville, 9 " night coming, 
and bad weather continuing, so that it was impossible to 
resist without going to the coast or perishing at sea, I bore 
on the rocks, to reach the coast in the daytime, in order to 
be able to save my people and my boats. On approaching 
these rocks to seek a shelter, I perceived there was a river. 
I passed between two of these rocks, there being twelve 
feet of water, with a very heavy sea, where, on approach- 
ing the rocks, I found sweet water with a very strong 
current. These rocks are of wood petrified with mud, and 
have become black rocks, which resist the sea. They are 
innumerable, out of water, some large, some small, at 
a distance from one another of twenty steps, one hundred, 
three hundred, five hundred, more or less, running to the 
southwest, which has made me know that it was the Palis- 



sada River, which seemed to me well named, for, being 
at its mouth, which is a league and a half from these rocks, 
it appeared all barred by rocks. At its entrance there are 
only twelve to fifteen feet of water, by which I passed, 
which seemed to me one of the best passes, where the 
sea broke the least. Between the two points of the river 
I found ten fathoms, the river being three hundred and 
fifty fathoms wide, the current one league and a third 
an hour, the water all muddy and very white. Lying on 
these reeds we felt, sheltered from the bad weather, the 
pleasure of seeing ourselves protected from an evident 

The " muddy and very white water " seemed to indi- 
cate that it was the long-sought Mississippi, and the 
French began to go up the river on March 3, Shrove 
Tuesday ; for which reason Iberville named a point twelve 
leagues from the mouth of the stream " Mardi Gras." 
The first Indians they met belonged to the tribes of the 
Bayagoulas and Mongoulachas, and the chief of the lat- 
ter wore a cloak of blue serge, which he said was pre- 
sented to him by Tonty. On his way up the river, Iber- 
ville pitched his camp on the site of the present city of 
New Orleans, at a place where the Indians told him that, 
at a short distance from the river, a bayou (rivulet) ran 
into a lake. On arriving at the village of the Baya- 
goulas, Iberville thought he should find a fork which 
would lead him from the river to the Gulf, but the natives 
told him they knew of no other communication on the left 
bank but a small stream called Ascantia,now Bayou Iber- 
ville or Manchac. This they saw a little farther; it sepa- 



rated the hunting-grounds of the Bayagoulas from those 
of the Oumas. " There are on the hank," says Iberville, 
" many cabins covered with palmetto leaves, and a May- 
pole without branches, reddened with several heads of fish 
and of bears attached as a sacrifice." This red pole 
(baton rouge) is said to have given its name to the 
present capital of Louisiana, but Penicaut, in his " Rela- 
tion," 10 gives a different account: " From there we went 
up five leagues, where we found very high banks, which 
are called in that country bluffs (Ecores), and in the 
language of the savages Istrouma, which signifies Baton 
Rouge, because there is at that place a post painted red, 
which the savages had planted to mark the separation 
of the lands of two nations — the Bayagoulas, whence we 
had come, and another thirty leagues above Baton Rouge, 
called the Oumas. These two nations were so jealous of 
their hunting-grounds that they shot at those of their 
neighbors whom they found hunting beyond the limits 
marked by this red post." 

The French next came to a bend, where Iberville no- 
ticed a small outlet obstructed with trees. These were 
cleared, and the barges soon reached the river again, eigh- 
teen miles above the point where the outlet had been seen. 
The Mississippi gradually adopted this outlet as its bed, 
and later the place was called Pointe Coupee. The ex- 
plorers reached soon afterward a large bend, supposed to 
be the one now opposite the mouth of Red River, and ar- 
rived at the village of the Oumas, where they were most 
hospitably received. There Iberville learned from the 
Bayagoulas that Tonty had left a letter with the chief 


of the Mongoulachas, which tribe was called formerly the 
Quinipissas. The French commander proceeded only a 
little farther. He ordered Sauvole and Bienville to de- 
scend the Mississippi to its mouth, and to obtain Tonty's 
letter from the Mongoulachas. This was done. The 
letter was dated from the village of the Quinipissas, April 
20, 1685, and was written by Tonty to his beloved chief 
when the heroic Italian descended the river to meet La 
Salle, on hearing of his departure from France on his last 
expedition. In his " Journal " Iberville gives the follow- 
ing interesting extract from Tonty's letter to La Salle: 

Sir : Having found the post, where you had raised the arms of 
the King, thrown down by the driftwood, I had another one planted 
above, at about seven leagues from the sea, and I left a letter in 
a tree near by, in a hole on the other side, with a sign above. The 
Quinipissas having danced the calumet for me, I left this letter 
with them to assure you of my very humble respects, and to let 
you know that at the news which I received at the fort, that you 
had lost a ship, and that savages having pillaged your goods, 
you were fighting against them, I came down with twenty-five 
Frenchmen, five Chaouanons, and five Illinois. All the natives have 
danced the calumet. They are people who fear us extremely 
since you have defeated this village. I end by telling you that it 
is a great sorrow for me that we should return with the misfortune 
of not having found you, after two canoes have coasted along 
Mexico thirty leagues, and along the cape of Florida twenty-five, 
which have been obliged to give up for lack of water. Although 
we have had no news from you or seen marks of you, I do not 
despair that God will give good success to your affairs and your 
enterprise. I wish it with all my heart, since you have no servant 
more faithful than I, who would sacrifice everything to look for 
you. 11 


On March 23 Iberville set out to return to his ships. 
The Bayagoulas and the Ounias bade him farewell, and 
the chief of the latter and one of his principal warriors 
conducted Iberville to his boat, holding him under the 
arms, to help him to walk, from fear any accident might 
happen to him on their land. The chief of the Bayagou- 
las embarked with him, three volleys of musketry were 
fired, and the savages answered with cries of joy the 
" Vive le Roi! " of the French. 

On March 24 Iberville entered the Ascantia, named 
later Iberville, " a river," says he, " which goes to Biloxi 
and to the bay where are the ships." He had two bark 
canoes, four of his men, and a Mongoulacha Indian. The 
stream was very narrow and was obstructed with fallen 
trees, and in two leagues there were ten portages. On 
the second day there were fifty portages, and the French 
reached a beautiful country — level ground, fine trees, and 
no wild cane. There were many turkeys in the woods, 
and fish and alligators in the rivulet. The Mongoulacha 
abandoned Iberville; but the latter, although he had no 
guide, continued his journey instead of returning to the 
Mississippi. It was a rather bold undertaking, but not 
one that could embarrass the brave Canadian sailor. He 
said he wished to show the savages that he could go wher- 
ever he pleased without a guide, and he added, with char- 
acteristic energy: " Whatever may happen, I shall always 
reach the ships, were I to go by land and abandon my 
canoes and make others." He finally arrived at two lakes, 
which he named respectively Maurepas and Pontchar- 
train. He returned to Ship Island a little before Bien- 


ville and Sauvole. On April 12 he visited a bay, which he 
named St. Louis ; but, having found little water there, he 
resolved to place definitely the principal establishment of 
the colony at the eastern extremity of the bay of Biloxi. 
On May 1 he completed a fort with four bastions, armed 
with twelve camion, and gave the command of it to Sau- 
vole. He appointed his brother Bienville lieutenant 
(second in command), and Levasseur Russouelle major, 
and left at Biloxi seventy men and six sailor boys, and 
provisions for four months. On May 4, 1699, he sailed 
for France on board the Badine, with the Count de Sur- 
geres, who commanded the Marin. 

Iberville had succeeded in his undertaking: he had 
re-discovered the Mississippi River, and had sown the 
seed from which was to grow our Louisiana. He was 
again to revisit his infant colony, but he died too soon to 
see it prosper. Had he lived only a few years longer, 
Bienville would not have had such a hard struggle to keep 
alive the colony planted on the shore of Biloxi. Iber- 
ville's influence at court would have helped Bienville, 
and the two courageous brothers would have worked 
with zeal and harmony to build on a solid foundation 
the settlement established after so many years of hard- 

After Iberville's departure, Sauvole remained in com- 
mand of the infant colony, and in his " Journal " he gives 
a clear and concise account of what he did. He begins 
by saying that he had great difficulty in maintaining dis- 
cipline among his men, and that he had mass celebrated 
every day. The chaplain was Father Bordeneau; the 

1699] THE "ENGLISH TURN" 43 

former companion of La Salle, Father Anastase Douay, 
had returned to France with Iberville. 

On May 17, 1699, Sauvole received the visit of the 
chief of the Bayagoulas and three other Indians. He 
ordered the soldiers to present arms, and he gave presents 
to the savages. The next morning the latter said their 
wives were not far distant and would like to see the fort. 
When the squaws appealed, the chief claimed for his wife 
the same honors as for himself. This gallantry astonished 
the French commander, and although he complied with 
the request, he took care to let his guest know that he 
and his men feared nobody. 

Sauvole sent Bienville on excursions among the Cola- 
pissas, the Mobilians, and other neighboring tribes, and 
also to explore again the Mississippi. Bienville left Bi- 
loxi on August 24, 1699, and with five men in two bark 
canoes went up the great river as far as the Ouachas. On 
his return journey he met, on September 16, twenty-eight 
leagues from the mouth of the river, an English frigate, 
the captain of which said he intended to form a settlement 
on the coast of the Mississippi. Bienville, according to 
the " Journal Historique," " assured him that the river 
which he was seeking was more to the west, and that the 
river, where he was, was a dependency of Canada, of 
which possession had been taken in the name of His Most 
Christian Majesty." The captain turned back and de- 
parted, and the place on the river where this happened is 
still called the " English Turn." 

Penicaut relates the story differently and says: "M. 
de Bienville went to him and asked him what he was com- 


ing to seek at the Mississippi, and whether he did not 
know that the French were established in the country. 
The Englishman, very much astonished, answered him 
that he knew nothing about it, and departed a moment 
later to return to the sea, grumbling very much against 
the French and M. de Bienville. This is what has caused 
this turn to be called the ' English Turn,' which name it 
bears to-day." 

Sauvole, in his " Journal," says : " On going down the 
river, twenty-five leagues from its mouth M. de Bien- 
ville met an English frigate of twelve cannon, which he 
opposed, according to the order which I had given him. 
The captain, named Bar, acknowledged to him ingenu- 
ously that he had explored this river only to make there 
an establishment for a company; but seeing that we had 
taken possession of it before them, and believing that we 
were established farther up, he decided to return, assuring 
our men that he would be seen again next year." The 
above three versions are given, 12 as the story has been 
much discussed. The English were claiming Louisiana 
as forming part of the Carolinas. On board the Eng- 
lish vessel was a French engineer, M. Secon, 13 a Protes- 
tant, who gave secretly to Bienville a petition addressed 
to the King, by which he assured the latter that four hun- 
dred Protestant families would come to Louisiana from 
the Carolinas if the King would grant them liberty of 
conscience. The petition was sent to Pontchartrain, who 
refused the request. 

Sauvole speaks of the intense heat in the summer of 


1699, of the numberless alligators and snakes around the 
fort, and of the barrenness of the land. He adds that, 
unless a gold-mine is discovered, the King will not be 
compensated for his expenses. As for the natives, they 
were all very poor. The winter was exceedingly cold, and 
the colonists suffered considerably. They were delighted 
at the arrival of Iberville, on December 8, 1699, with sup- 
plies and reinforcements. He was accompanied by 
Boisbriant, who was to be major at Biloxi, two officers, 
and Saint-Denis and De Malton. Having been told of 
the expedition of the English corvette met by Bienville 
in the Mississippi, Iberville determined to ascend that 
river once more. He ordered a fort to be built, 14 fifty- 
four miles from the mouth of the river, and he went up 
the Mississippi as far as the Natchez. He was well 
pleased with the country of the latter, and laid the plan 
of a fort to be called Fort Rosalie for the Countess de 
Pontchartrain. On his journey Iberville had the pleasure 
to meet Tonty, who had come to offer his services to the 
French. On his second voyage to Biloxi, Iberville com- 
manded the frigate Renommee, and Surgeres the frigate 
Gironde. The King had confirmed Iberville's appoint- 
ment of Sauvole as commander at Biloxi, and of Bienville 
as lieutenant, second in command. 

At this time took place the expedition, in quest of 
mineral wealth, of the geologist Le Sueur, to the Sioux 
country, which the carpenter Penicaut has related in his 
usual simple and charming manner. A quantity of blue 
and green earth was brought back by Le Sueur from what 


was thought to he a copper-mine, and the precious freight 
was carried to France ; " but," says Penicaut, " we never 
had any news of it since." 

From the Tensas village, where Iberville set out to 
return to his fort on the Mississippi, Bienville began his 
journey to the northwest. He went to the country of the 
Yatasses, of the Ouachitas, and of the Natchitoches, and 
he heard of no Spanish settlement. He was accompanied 
by St. Denis, who became later thoroughly acquainted 
with the Spaniards in Mexico. 

Iberville left Bienville in command of the fort on the 
Mississippi, and returned to France on May 28, 1700. 
Both Sauvole and Bienville had great difficulty in main- 
taining their settlements, in spite of occasional help from 
the mother country. On August 22, 1701, Sauvole, the 
first Governor of Louisiana, died of fever. 15 He was a 
man of honor, of courage, and of judgment. Bienville 
succeeded him in the command of the colony. Jean-Bap- 
tiste Le Moyne was oidy twenty-two years of age, but 
had been for several years a constant companion of his 
brother Iberville in the latter's glorious expeditions. 
Bienville already had experience and judgment, and 
from the death of Sauvole he was for many years the 
most important personage in the history of French Loui- 

The founder of Louisiana returned to his colony for 
the last time on December 18, 1701. He brought the 
news of the accession of Philip, Duke of Anjou, to the 
throne of Spain. Charles II, the last Spanish monarch 
of the house of Austria, died in 1700, and, not wishing 


to see his monarchy dismembered, he named as his heir 
the second son of the Dauphin. The kingdom that Fer- 
dinand and Isabella had founded, to which Columbus had 
given a new world, and Cortez and Pizarro the countless 
treasures of Mexico and Peru, the country in the capital 
of which Francis I had been a prisoner for a year, where 
Charles V and Philip II had reigned, had been weakened 
by the wars of Charles and the intolerance and despotism 
of Philip, and the third and the fourth Philip had done 
nothing to arrest the decay of their monarchy. Louis 
XIV had married the oldest daughter of Philip IV, and 
in 1700 he allowed his grandson to accept the Spanish suc- 
cession. This elevation of a Bourbon to the Spanish 
throne caused a coalition of nearly all Europe against 
France and Spain, and the disasters of the war reacted on 

On his last voyage Iberville commanded again the 
Henommee, and his brother Serigny commanded the Pal- 
mier. The valiant sailor was in bad health, but he dis- 
played his usual energy. He gave orders to Bienville to 
remove the seat of the colony from Biloxi, and to form an 
establishment on Mobile River. When Iberville arrived 
on his third voyage he found only one hundred and fifty 
persons in the colony. More than sixty men had died at 
Biloxi, and for three months the garrison had subsisted 
on a little corn. 

On January 6, 1702, Bienville set out with his garrison 
to found the new settlement. He left twenty soldiers at 
Biloxi, under the command of Boisbriant, and met on 
Massacre (called later Dauphine) Island his brothers 


Serigny and Chateaugue and Nicolas de La Salle, the 
new intendant or commissary, who were huilding a store- 
house there. On January 16, 1702, 16 Bienville and Se- 
rigny went up Mobile River, and at a point eighteen 
leagues from the sea began the construction of a fort and 
of a storehouse. Iberville, who reached the new establish- 
ment on March 3, was delighted with the country, which 
he declared to be " perfectly beautiful." 

The intendant, Nicolas de La Salle, had been one of 
Robert Cavelier de La Salle's companions on his jour- 
ney down the Mississippi in 1682, and he is mentioned 
by Iberville as being the first man that took his wife and 
his children to the colony. He arrived with his family 
on March 19, 1702, at the settlement on Mobile River, 
which was called Fort Louis de la Mobile. Nicolas de La 
Salle and the curate de la Vente were to be a little later 
bitter enemies of Bienville, while Father Gravier and the 
commissary Diron dArtaguette, successor to La Salle, 
were to be his friends and defenders. 

Bienville's lot was hard, on account of the feuds in the 
colony, and the difficulty of providing the people under 
his charge with the means of existence. Iberville saw the 
necessity of tilling the ground, and asked the French 
minister to send farmers to Louisiana, and not adven- 
turers. He remained but a short time in the colony on 
his third voyage, and sailed for France on April 27, 1702. 
He never returned to his settlement, but as long as he 
lived he attended to the needs of the infant colony, and he 
succeeded, in spite of the war in Europe, in having sup- 
plies sent to Louisiana. He died of yellow fever in 1706, 


at Havana, where he had gone to obtain reinforcements 
from the Spaniards for an attack on the Carolinas. Iber- 
ville was a worthy successor of La Salle; he was as able 
and as courageous: but, more fortunate than the great 
Norman explorer and discoverer, the Canadian sailor suc- 
ceeded in colonizing the land to which La Salle had given 
the name of " Louisiane." 


The Struggle for Existence — The Founding 
of New Orleans 

Hardships of the colonists— Dealings with the Indians — Death of Tonty— 
Census of 1704— Census of 1706-De Muys— Diron d'Artaguette— D'Arta- 
guette and Bienville advocate an establishment on the Mississippi— P6- 
nicaut's life with the Indians— Slow progress of Louisiana— Grant to Cro- 
zat— Governor Lamothe Cadillac —Letters patent to Crozat — Adminis- 
tration of Lamothe Cadillac — Customs of the Natchez Indians— Bienville's 
punishment of the Natchez chiefs — Governor de l'FLpinay— Intendant Hu- 
bert — Early settlements — Fort Cond6 of Mobile — Dubreuil — Young D'Ar- 
taguette— The Western Company— John Law — Abstract of the charter of 
the Western Company — Foundation of New Orleans in February, 1718 — 
New Biloxi — The Superior Council in 1719 — War with Spain— Capture of 
Pensacola— Expeditions of Dutisn£ and of La Harpe— The German Coast 
— Pauger's report about the mouth of the Mississippi— New Orleans be- 
comes the capital — La Tour's report— The hurricane of 17J3 — Comman- 
dants of posts — Names of districts — Father Charlevoix's letter— Descrip- 
tion of Louisiana by Le Page du Pratz— Le Page's arrival in the colony — 
His concession near New Orleans— The calumet dance— Departure for the 
Natchez country— Settlement near Fort Rosalie— Limits of Louisiana ac- 
cording to Le Page— Climate— The river St. Louis — Le Page goes to New 
Biloxi — Explorations in the interior — Tribute to St. Denis — Boats of the 
natives— List of the Indian tribes — Le Page meets Father Charlevoix— His 
departure in 1734. 

HE " Journal Historique," already 
referred to, which is our chief guide 
for the early events in our history, 
gives but meager and uninteresting 
details about the hardships of the 
colonists for several years. In June, 
1702, the Spaniards at Pensacola 



begged for provisions, which Bienville sent to them; 
and in June, 1703, they came, in their turn, to the help 
of the French colony threatened with famine. On July 
24, 1704, the Pelican arrived with supplies and seventy- 
five soldiers, together with the curate de la Vente, four 
families of artisans, and two Gray sisters who had in 
charge twenty-three young girls sent as wives for the 
colonists. The girls, the minister wrote, " were reared 
in virtue and piety, and know how to work." They did 
not remain long unmarried. 

Bienville and his men had to contend not only against 
famine but also against disease, fever especially, and 
against the Indians. Several expeditions had to be fitted 
out against various tribes, and great tact had to be used 
in dealing with the Choctaws and the Chickasaws. The 
former were generally friendly to the French, but the 
latter became their mortal enemies. The Mongoulachas 
were destroyed by their former friends, the Bayagoulas, 
and the latter were nearly all massacred by the Tensas, 
to whom they had given hospitality. In September, 1704, 
an epidemic, supposed to be yellow fever, broke out, and 
thirty-five persons died, among whom was the gallant 
Tonty, La Salle's devoted friend, the most chivalric of 
the explorers of America. 

According to a report 1 dated August 31, 1704, from 
Fort Louis of Mobile, the situation of the colony was as 
follows: " 180 men bearing arms; 27 French families, 
which have only 3 little girls and 7 young boys from 
1 to 10 years; 6 young savage boys, slaves, from 12 to 18 
years; 5 young savage girls, slaves, from 15 to 20 years; 


4 ecclesiastics (1 Jesuit and 3 priests) ; 190 arpents of 
ground, which form the inclosure of the town ; 80 wooden 
houses of one story, covered with palmetto leaves or 
straw, built on streets drawn with a tow-line; 9 oxen, of 
which 5 belong to the King; 14 cows; 4 bulls, of which 1 
belongs to the King; 5 calves, 100 hogs, 3 goats, 400 
chickens, which the commissary has preserved carefully 
for breeding." 

The following census was copied by the writer at the 
Ministry of the Colonies in 1900, and is very interesting, 
as it gives the names of the inhabitants at that time : 

Year 1706. 

Louisiana. — Enumeration of the families and inhabitants who 
are in Louisiana according to the census which has been made of 
them on August 1, 1706. 

Number of persons. 

M. de La Salle, his wife and 4 children 6 

Guillaume Broutin and his wife 2 

Jean Roy, his wife and 2 children 4 

Jean La Loire, his wife and 1 child 3 

Jean Le Camp has the first male child born in Louisiana 2 . .2 

Francois May, his wife and 2 children 4 

Nicolas Lafreniere, bachelor 1 

Francois Trudeau, his wife and 1 child 3 

Etienne Bruille, his wife and 1 child 3 

Mile. Le Sueur, widow, came from Canada with 3 daughters 

and 1 boy 5 

Mile. Boissenaud, unmarried 1 

Gabrielle Bonnot, crazy, her husband has deserted .... 1 

Michel Risbe 1 

Laurent Clostiny and 1 child 2 


Numl>er of persons. 

The Sieur Barran and his wife 2 

Andre Renaud, Ills wife and a child 3 

Gilbert Dardenne, his wife and a child 3 

Pierre Brossard, his wife and 1 child 3 

Pierre Allin, his wife and 1 child 3 

Jean Bonobonnoire, his wife and 1 child 3 

Antoine Ilinarre, his wife and 1 child 3 

Claude Trcpanie, his wife and 1 child 3 

Jean Coulomb, his wife and 2 children 4 

Joseph Penigaud, his wife 2 

Jean Sossie, a wife and 2 children 4 

Marie Mercier, unmarried 1 

Marie Crisot, midwife 1 

Jean Louis Minuity, his wife and 2 children 4 

Anne Perro, widow, with 4 children 5 

Total, 82 

Cattle. — 35 cows, including 12 heifers; 5 bulls; 6 oxen, of 
which 4 belong to the King; total, 46. 

Done at fort Louis of Louisiana, August 1, 1706. 

Bienville. De La Salle. 

The struggle for existence continued from 1704 to 
1708, and in that year Bienville's enemies appeared to be 
successful in their attacks against him. In February, 
1708, the news reached the colony that a new governor, 
De Muys, had been sent to supersede Bienville, but had 
died at Havana. Diron d Artaguette, the new intendant 
(commissaire ordonnateur) , arrived at Dauphine Island 
on February 10, 1708. He had received orders to inves- 
tigate the conduct of the officials, and the minister had 
even prejudged the case by sending an order for the 


arrest of Bienville, adding, however, that this was 
not to be done if he was found innocent. Bienville 
complained that he was not informed of the charges 
against him, and wished to return to France by the 
Renommec. The commander of that vessel refused 
to take him on board because, De Muys having died, 
Bienville was still governor. D'Artaguette sent later 
a communication to the French minister, by which he 
completely exonerated Bienville of all charges against 
him. He saw that the young Canadian had done the 
best he could with the means at his disposal, and that he 
was popular with the colonists and with the Indians. 
Bienville knew perfectly the customs of the latter, and 
spoke several Indian languages. 

D'Artaguette remained in Louisiana until 1711; he 
was a man of sound judgment, and advocated with Bien- 
ville an establishment on the Mississippi to replace the 
fort that had been abandoned in 1705. D'Artaguette 
suggested a place, which is probably now the Gentilly 
Ridge. During the intendant's stay in the colony, the 
distress of the inhabitants was very great, and in 1710 
Bienville allowed some of his men to go to live among the 
savages, as he was not able to provide for them. This 
seems strange, if we believe Commissary La Salle's 
report, 3 made on August 12, 1708, in which he gives 
the population as composed of a garrison of 122 persons, 
— including priests, workmen, and boys, — 157 inhabi- 
tants, — men, women and children, — besides 60 wander- 
ing Canadians and 80 Indian slaves, and reports 1400 
hogs, 2000 chickens, and about 100 heads of cattle. 

1710] PENICAUT 55 

Let us now return to our friend Penicaut, the literary 
carpenter. He calls attention to the moss on the trees, 
and says that the French called it " Spanish beard " 
(barbe a I'Espagnolc), and the Spaniards "French 
wig" (pemtque a la Fran false). In 1704 Penicaut 
had spent some time among the Natchez, of whom he 
gives an interesting description. In 1710 he resolved to 
go among the Colapissas and the Natchitoches on the 
banks of Lake Pontchartrain. Twelve young men set 
out in two canoes, carrying with them a kettle and pro- 
visions for three days. They killed a quantity of game 
on the way, and in eight days arrived at the villages of 
their savage friends. They were cordially received, their 
game was cooked for them, and at night the Indians be- 
gan to dance in honor of their guests. What was the 
surprise of the young warriors and squaws when they 
heard one of the Frenchmen, named Picard, play the 
violin. Carried away by their enthusiasm, the Indians 
jumped about wildly, until two of the white men danced 
a minuet which delighted their hosts. Picard, the fiddler, 
resided with the chief of the Colapissas, while Penicaut 
enjoyed the hospitality of the Natchitoches chief, who 
had two beautiful daughters, Oulchogonime, the " Good 
Girl " in their language, and Oulchil, the " Beautiful 
Weaver." The French spent the winter with the Indi- 
ans, hunting and fishing with them, and teaching the 
young damsels the stately dances of Louis XIV's court. 
Penicaut says that on his return from the hunt in winter, 
he used to sit by the fire and teach the two daughters 
of his host to speak French. " They nearly made me 


die with laughter," says he, " with their savage pronun- 
ciation, which comes only from the throat, while French 
is spoken simply with the tongue, without being gut- 
tural." The young carpenter must be reckoned the ear- 
liest teacher of French in Louisiana. It is a pity that he 
did not stay long enough among the Colapissas and 
Natchitoches to complete the course in physiological pho- 
netics begun so auspiciously. A little later the Natchi- 
toches were taken back to their former lands on Red 
River, and Penicaut was fortunate enough to protect 
from the wrath of the Colapissas the father of his charm- 
ing pupils. 

In 1712 the colony of Louisiana — or Mississippi, as it 
was often called — was ceded by Louis XIV to a wealthy 
merchant named Antoine Crozat. The population was 
composed of four hundred persons, including twenty 
negroes. The progress of Louisiana had been very slow, 
and the following extract from Judge Martin's history 4 
admirably explains the slow growth: 

The coast of the sea abounded with fish; the lagoons near 
Mobile River were covered with water-fowl; the forests teemed 
with deer, the prairies with buffalo, and the air with wild tur- 
keys. By cutting down the lofty pine trees around the fort, the 
colonists would have uncovered a soil abundantly producing corn 
and pease. By abandoning the posts on the Mississippi, on Ship 
and Dauphine Islands and at the Biloxi, the necessary military 
duties would have left a considerable number of individuals to 
the labors of tillage, especially if prudence had spared frequent 
divisions of them to travel thousands of miles in quest of ochres 
and minerals or in the discovery of distant land, while that which 
was occupied was suffered to remain unproductive. Thus, in the 


concerns of communities as in those of individuals, immediate, real 
and secure advantages are foregone for distant, dubious and often 
visionary ones. 

As we have already said, Louisiana was granted to 
Crozat, 5 on September 14, 1712, for fifteen years, with ex- 
clusive right of trade. The exhausted condition of 
France, brought about by the War of the Spanish Suc- 
cession, was the only excuse for the surrender of a whole 
province to one man. Crozat, however, seems to have 
done all in his power to make the colony prosper. It 
was naturally to his interest to do so. In May, 1713, the 
Baron de Lafosse arrived with supplies for the colonists 
and merchandise for Crozat. Among the passengers 
was Lamothe Cadillac, who had been appointed governor 
of the colony. Bienville was named " commandant of the 
Mississippi and its tributaries," and was second in com- 

In the French manuscripts of the Mississippi Valley, 
the letters patent to Crozat are given in full, but Judge 
Martin, in his " History of Louisiana," has given such a 
clear abstract of the grant that we shall reproduce it 

Crozat's charter bears date the twenty-sixth 8 of September, 
1712. Its preamble states that the attention the King has always 
given to the interests and commerce of his subjects, induced him, 
nowithstanding the almost continual wars he was obliged to sustain 
since the beginning of his reign, to seek every opportunity of 
increasing and extending the trade of his colonies in America; 
that, accordingly, he had in 1683 given orders for exploring the 
territory on the northern continent, between New France and New 


Mexico; and La Salle had succeeded so far as to leave no doubt- 
as to the facility of opening a communication between Canada and 
the Gulf of Mexico, through the large rivers that flow in the inter- 
mediate space ; which had induced the King, immediately after 
the peace of Ryswick, to send thither a colony and maintain a 
garrison, to keep up the possession, taken in 1683, of the terri- 
tory on the Gulf, between Carolina on the east and Old and New 
Mexico on the west. But, war having broken out soon afterward 
in Europe, he had not been able to draw from this colony the 
advantages he had anticipated, because the merchants of the king- 
dom engaged in maritime commerce had relations and concerns 
in the other French colonies, which they could not relinquish. 

The King declares that, on the report made to him of the situa- 
tion of the territory now known as the province of Louisiana, 
he has determined to establish there a commerce, which will be 
very beneficial to France, it being now necessary to seek in foreign 
countries many articles of commerce which may be obtained there, 
for merchandise of the growth or manufacture of the kingdom. 

He accordingly grants to Crozat the exclusive commerce of all 
the territory possessed by the Crown, between Old and New 
Mexico, and Carolina, and all the settlements, ports, roads, and 
rivers therein — principally the port and road of Dauphine Island, 
before called Massacre Island, the river St. Louis (previously 
called the Mississippi), from the sea to the Illinois, the river 
St. Philip (before called the Missouri), the river St. Jerome 
(before called the Wabash), with all the land, lakes, and rivers 
mediately or immediately flowing into any part of the river St. 
Louis or Mississippi. 

The territory thus described is to be and remain included under 
the style of government of Louisiana, and to be a dependence of 
the government of New France, to which it is to be subordinate. 
The King's territory, beyond the Illinois, is to be and continues 
part of the government of New France, to which it is annexed; 
and he reserves to himself the faculty of enlarging that of 


The right is given to the grantee to export from France into 
Louisiana all kinds of goods, wares, and merchandise during fif- 
teen years, and to carry on there such a commerce as he may 
think fit. All persons, natural or corporate, are inhibited from 
trading there, under the pain of confiscation of their goods, wares, 
merchandise and vessels ; and the officers of the King are com- 
manded to assist the grantee, his agents and factors, in seizing 

Permission is given to open and work mines, and to export the 
ore to France during fifteen years. The property of all the mines 
he may discover and work is given to him ; yielding to the King 
the fourth part of the gold and silver, to be delivered in France, 
at the cost of the grantee, but at the risk of the King, and the 
tenth part of all other metals. He may search for precious stones 
and pearls, yielding to the King one-fifth of them, in the same 
manner as gold and silver. Provision is made for the re-union to 
the King's domain of such mines as may cease during three years 
to be worked. 

Liberty is given to the grantee to sell to the French and Indians 
of Louisiana such goods, wares and merchandise as he may import, 
to the exclusion of all others without his express and written order. 
He is allowed to purchase and export to France hides, skins and 
peltries. But, to favor the trade of Canada, he is forbidden to 
purchase beaver skins or to export them to France or elsewhere. 

The absolute property, in fee simple, is vested in him of all 
the establishments and manufactures he may make in silk, indigo, 
wool and leather, and all the land he may cultivate, with all 
buildings, etc. ; he taking from the Governor and Intendant grants, 
which are to become void on the land ceasing to be improved. 

The laws, edicts and ordinances of the realm, and the custom 
of Paris, are extended to Louisiana. 

The obligation is imposed on the grantee to send yearly two 
vessels from France to Louisiana, in each of which he is to trans- 
port two boys or girls, and the King may ship free from freight 
twenty-five tons of provisions, ammunition, etc., for the use of 


the colony, — and more, paying freight ; and passage is lo be 
afforded to the King's officers and soldiers for a fixed compensation. 

One hundred quintals of powder are to be furnished annually 
to the grantee, out of the King's stores, at cost. 

An exemption from duties on the grantee's goods, wares and 
merchandise, imported to or exported from Louisiana, is allowed. 

The King promises to permit, if he thinks it proper, the im- 
portation of foreign goods to Louisiana, on the application of 
the grantee, and the production of his invoices, etc. 

The use is given to him of the boats, pirogues and canoes be- 
longing to the King, for loading and unloading ; he keeping and 
returning them in good order at the expiration of his grant. 

The faculty is allowed him to send annually a vessel to Guinea, 
for negroes, whom he may sell in Louisiana, to the exclusion of 
all others. 

After the expiration of nine years the grantee is to pay the 
field officers and garrison kept in Louisiana, and on the occurrence 
of vacancies commissions are to be granted to officers presented 
by the grantee, if approved. 

The expenses of the King for the salaries of his officers in 
Louisiana were fixed at the annual sum of ten thousand dollars. 
It was to be paid to Crozat in France, and the drafts of the com- 
missary ordonnateur were to be paid in Crozat's stores, in cash 
or in goods, with an advance of fifty per cent. Sales in all other 
cases were to be made, in these stores, at an advance of one hun- 
dred per cent. 

Lamothe Cadillac was the founder of Detroit, and had 
been a favorite of Frontenac. He was a man of courage 
and ability, and had been a successful pioneer, but his 
career in Louisiana was a failure. His intendant, Duclos, 
became a friend of Bienville, and there was discord, as 
at the time of Nicolas de La Salle. The governor sent 
gloomy reports about everything in the settlement, and 


had visions of mineral wealth continually before his eyes. 
Nothing of great importance occurred during his ad- 
ministration, except the first Natchez war in 1716. We 
may mention, however, the expeditions of St. Denis to 
Mexico in 1714 and 1716, during which he founded Nat- 
chitoches in 1715. Penicaut has related the romance of 
the marriage of St. Denis with a noble Mexican lady; 
but as our friend, the carpenter, heard the story from 
Jalot, St. Denis's valet, and wrote it several years later, 
we may believe that the events were colored by his im- 
agination. The adventures of Juchereau de St. Denis 7 
were wonderful ; but that officer was, nevertheless, a brave 
and capable man, who rendered great services to the 

Le Page du Pratz and Penicaut have given descrip- 
tions of the Natchez, and the latter and Richebourg wrote 
an account of the first trouble with them. We shall fol- 
low here Penicaut's relation. The village of the Natchez 
was the finest in Louisiana, and their country was de- 
lightful. The Indians of that tribe, both men and wo- 
men, were well made and very cleanly. Their chief was 
called the Great Sun, and inheritance of that title was 
in the female fine. They had a temple in which a fire 
was burning continually to represent the sun, which they 
adored. Whenever a Great Sun died, or a female Sun, 
or any of the inferior Suns, the wife or the husband was 
strangled, together with the nearest relatives of the de- 
ceased. Sometimes little children were sacrificed by their 

The Natchez murdered five Frenchmen, and Bienville 


was sent to punish them. When he arrived among the 
Tunicas, near the Natchez country, he built a fort and 
sent a lieutenant and twenty men to tell the Natchez 
chiefs that he wished to see them. Twenty-eight warriors 
came to see Bienville, and when they offered him the calu- 
met he refused, saying that he wanted the head of the 
chief of the White Earth. He then made the chiefs 
prisoners. The Great Sun sent the head of a man, but 
it was not the one Bienville wanted. The commander 
was informed that among his prisoners were four of 
the men who had murdered the Frenchmen, and Bienville 
had their heads broken with sticks. Among them was a 
wicked chief called " the Bearded." Peace was after- 
ward made with the Natchez, and Fort Rosalie was built 
in their country. 

Cadillac was much shocked at what he called Bien- 
ville's treachery and cruelty, and we must agree with him 
to a certain extent. Bienville's only excuse was that he 
was asked to do a thing that was impossible — to attack 
the Natchez, twelve hundred strong, with a force of one 
hundred men. The Indians were so treacherous that Bien- 
ville thought he might treat them as they often treated 
the French when they had the opportunity. This is, how- 
ever, not a good excuse, and Bienville should rather have 
risked his life and that of his men than have used deceit 
in his dealings with his savage foes. 

Crozat did not approve of Lamothe Cadillac's admin- 
istration, and he was removed from office in the autumn 
of 1716. Bienville was to be in command until the arrival 
of De l'Epinay, Cadillac's successor. The new governor 


■ arrived in the colony on March 9, 1717, accompanied 
by Hubert as intendant or commissaire ordonnateur. 
Strange to say, Ue l'Epinay and his intendant agreed per- 
fectly well, but discord reigned, nevertheless, in the col- 
ony. Bienville had received the cross of St. Louis, but 
he was disappointed at not being appointed governor, 
and he and his friends formed a party in opposition to 
De l'Epinay and Hubert. 

The colony, at that time, contained " seven hundred 
souls, of all ages, sexes, and colors." " The settlements," 
says Monette, 8 " increased slowly, and were confined 
chiefly to the river and bay of Mobile, and other parts 
of the coast westward from Biloxi. Two small settle- 
ments had been commenced on Red River, near Natchi- 
toches, and at Alexandria." ..." Several small forts 
had been erected. Among them was the one on the 
Coosa River, called Fort Toulouse, and the other, at 
Natchez, known as Fort Rosalie." Fort Louis of Mobile, 
established in January, 1702, on the river Mobile, fifty- 
four miles from the sea, had been abandoned in March, 
1710, on account of an inundation, and the fort, called 
Fort Louis at first and Conde afterward, 9 was removed 
to the present site of the city of Mobile. 

In March, 1717, three companies of infantry arrived 
in the colony, and fifty settlers, among whom was Du- 
breuil, who, a little later, became the richest planter in 
Louisiana. D'Artaguette, a son of the former intendant, 
arrived also at that time. 

In August, 1717, Crozat surrendered his charter to 
the Regent of France, who accepted it and made a grant 



of the colony to the Mississippi or Western Company, - 
directed then hy the celebrated Scotchman, John Law. 
Louis XIV had died in 1715, and had been succeeded by 
his great-grandson, Louis XV, under the regency of 
Philip, Duke of Orleans, nephew of the late King. Law's 
financial plan was good and inaugurated the system of 
credit resting on the emission of notes and bonds. Un- 
fortunately, there was not sufficient security to represent 
the value of the notes, and although the plan was ap- 
parently successful at first, it soon failed. Speculation 
ran high for a time in the Rue Quincampoix; but the 
notes became valueless, and great changes in fortunes 
took place in France. John Law was born in Edinburgh 
in 1671 ; his father was a wealthy goldsmith, and his fam- 
ily was descended from the celebrated house of Argyle. 
He devoted himself at an early age to games of chance 
and financial questions. At the age of twenty-four he 
was condemned to death for a duel occasioned by a love 
affair, but the sentence was commuted to imprisonment 
for life. He succeeded in escaping, left England, and 
wandered over Europe for several years, gambling and 
everywhere proposing a new system of credit. In 1716 
the Regent of France, Philip of Ox-leans, accepted Law's 
system by authorizing the creation of a bank, to which 
was added in 1717 a great colonizing scheme. The Re- 
gent had been at first only the protector of the bank, but 
in December, 1718, the institution was declared a royal 
or state institution. There were soon extravagant emis- 
sions of bank-notes, and they became valueless as well 
as the bonds or stocks. The bank was closed, but the 

' ^HMH 


Company of the West, or of the Mississippi, survived 
under the name of the Company of the Indies. Law left 
France in December, 1720. 1 " " He had loyally thrown 
his personal fortune into the system; he entered France 
rich ; he left it ruined. He died poor in Venice in 1729. 
He had had, in his ideas, a mixture of new truths and of 
dangerous errors ; but he had wished sincerely the public 
good. He had introduced, in the different branches of 
the administration, excellent reforms, of which a part 
survived." Law's system is sometimes called the " Mis- 
sissippi Bubble." 

The following is an abstract of the charter of the 
Western Company, given by Judge Martin in his " His- 
tory of Louisiana ": 

The charter of the new corporation was registered in the Parlia- 
ment of Paris on the sixth 11 of September, 1717. It is to be dis- 
tinguished by the style of the Western Company, and all the 
King's subjects, as well as corporate bodies and aliens, are allowed 
to take shares in it. 

The exclusive commerce of Louisiana is granted to it for twenty- 
five years ; with the right, also exclusive, of purchasing beaver 
skins from the inhabitants of Canada, from the first of January, 
1718, until the last day of the year 1742; and the monarch re- 
serves to himself the faculty of settling, on information to be ob- 
tained from Canada, the number of skins the Company shall be 
bound to receive annually from the inhabitants, and the price to 
be paid therefor. 

All the other subjects of the King arc prohibited from trading 
to Louisiana, under penalty of the confiscation of their merchandise 
and vessels ; but this is not intended to prevent the inhabitants 
from trading among themselves or with the Indians. It is like- 


wise prohibited to any but the Company to purchase, during the 
same period, beaver skins in Canada for exportation, under penalty 
of the forfeiture of the skins, and of the vessels in which they 
may be shipped, but the trade in these skins is to continue as 
heretofore in the interior. 

The land, coasts, harbors and islands in Louisiana are granted 
to the Company, as they were to Crozat, it doing faith and 
homage to the King, and furnishing a crown of gold of the weight 
of thirty marks at each mutation of the sovereignty. 

It is authorized to make treaties with the Indians, and to declare 
and prosecute war against them in case of insult. 

The property of all mines it may open and work is granted 
to it, without the payment of any duty whatsoever. 

The faculty is given to grant land, even allodially, to erect 
forts, and levy troops and recruits even in the kingdom, procur- 
ing the King's commission for this purpose. 

It is authorized to nominate governors and the officers com- 
manding the troops, who are to be presented by the directors and 
commissioned by the King, and removable by the Company. Pro- 
visional commissions may, in case of necessity, be granted, to be 
valid during six months, or until the royal commission arrive. 

The directors and all officers are to take an oath of fidelity to 
the King. 

All civil suits to which the Company may be a party are to be 
determined by the consular jurisdiction of the city of Paris, the 
sentences of which under a fixed sum are to be in the last resort ; 
those above are to be provisorily executed notwithstanding, but 
without prejudice of the appeal, which is to be brought before 
the Parliament of Paris. Criminal jurisdiction is not to draw 
with it that of the civil matter. 

The King promises not to grant any letter of dispensation or 
respite to any debtor of the Company ; and he assures it of the 
protection of his name, against any foreign nation injuring the 

French vessels and crews alone are to be employed by it, and 


it is to bring the produce of Louisiana into the ports of the king- 
dom. All goods in its vessels are to be presumed its property, 
unless it be shown they were shipped with its license. 

Subjects of the King removing to Louisiana arc to preserve 
their national character, and their children (and those of European 
parents professing the Roman Catholic religion) born there are 
to be considered as natural-born subjects. 

During the continuance of the charter, the inhabitants of 
Louisiana are exempted from any tax or imposition, and the Com- 
pany's goods from duty. 

With the view of encouraging it to build vessels in Louisiana, 
a gratification is to be paid on the arrival of each of them in 

Four hundred quintals of powder are to be delivered annually 
to the Company, out of the royal magazines, at cost. 

The stock is divided into shares of five hundred livres each 
(about one hundred dollars). Their number is not limited; but 
the Company is authorized to close the subscription at discretion. 
The shares of aliens are exempted from the " droit d'aubaine " 
and confiscation in case of war. 

Holders are to have a vote for every fifty shares. The affairs 
of the Company, during the first years, are to be managed by 
directors appointed by the King, and afterward by others, ap- 
pointed triennially by the stockholders. 

The King gives to the Company all the forts, magazines, guns, 
ammunitions, vessels, boats, provisions, etc., in Louisiana, with all 
the merchandise surrendered by Crozat. 

It is to build churches and provide clergymen; Louisiana is 
to remain part of the diocese of Quebec. It engages to bring in, 
during its privilege, six thousand white persons and three thou- 
sand negroes; but it is stipulated it shall not bring any person 
from another colony without the license of the Governor. 

By an edict in May, 1719, 12 the Companies of the East 
Indies and of China were united to the Western Com- 


pany, and by Article 12 it was stipulated that the name 
henceforth would be the Company of the Indies. 

On February 9, 1718, three ships arrived at Dauphine 
Island with troops, settlers, and provisions, and with 
Bienville's appointment as commandant-general or gov- 
ernor, and Hubert's as director-general. As soon as 
Bienville was again at the head of the colony, he deter- 
mined to effect a permanent settlement on the Mississippi 
River. In February, 1718, 13 he chose a site thirty leagues 
from the sea, on account of communication with Lake 
Pontchartrain by Bayou St. John, and left there fifty 
persons to clear the ground and construct some houses. 
The future town was named New Orleans, 14 in honor 
of Philip of Orleans, Regent of France. It was des- 
tined to become, after many vicissitudes, the metropolis 
of the Southern States of the American Union. 

Bienville was in favor of transferring the seat of the 
colony to the new establishment ; but the majority of the 
members of the Superior Council were of opinion that the 
sea-coast should not be abandoned, and an establishment 
was made in December, 1719, on the west shore of the 
bay of Biloxi, at the entrance of the bay, on the point 
opposite Deer Island. This was called Fort Louis, or 
New Biloxi, to distinguish it from Iberville's original set- 
tlement, Old Biloxi, which was accidentally burned to the 
ground in 1719. The Superior Council, 15 in 1719, was, 
in reality, a court of justice, and the members were: 
Bienville, governor; Hubert, intendant; Boisb riant and 
Chateaugue, lieutenants of the King; and Villardo, 
L'Archambault, and Legac. The attorney-general was 

i7i9j WAR WITH SPAIN 69 

Cartier tie Baume, and Couture was secretary of the 

On April 19, 1719, Serigny, Bienville's brother, arrived 
in Louisiana, with orders to inspect the coast and make 
soundings, and assist Bienville. He brought the news of 
a declaration of war between France and Spain. This 
is a curious historical fact, when we consider the im- 
mense sacrifices made by Louis XIV to place his grand- 
son on the throne of Spain, and his supposed saying: 
" My son, there are no longer any Pyrenees." The treaty 
of Utrecht, which put an end to the War of the Spanish 
Succession, was signed in 1713, and only* six years later 
Philip V, or rather Alberoni, his minister, was waging 
war against Philip's nephew, Louis XV. In that war 
Serigny distinguished himself, and among the ship cap- 
tains that took part in the conflict we see the name of 
De Grieux, who commanded the Comtc de Toulouse. 

There were expeditions against Pensacola and against 
Dauphine Island, which have been related in a most in- 
teresting manner by Le Page du Pratz and by Benard 
de La Harpe, both of whom had arrived in Louisiana in 
1718. Pensacola was captured by the French, recap- 
tured by the Spaniards, taken a second time by the 
French, and returned to Spain in 1723. 

In December, 1719, Bienville received from the Kas- 
kaskias an interesting letter from Dutisne, relating a 
journey to the west as far as the lands of the Osages and 
of the Panionassas. On January 26, 1720, Benard de La 
Harpe arrived from a long and eventful journey, after 
establishing a post in the country of the Cadodaquious on 


the Red River, " who were," says he, " established two 
leagues below the Nassonites, and the Natsoos and the 
Natchitoches three leagues above, to the right of the 
river." The colony was at last progressing, for, in spite 
of the war with Spain, the Company of the Indies sent 
a large number of settlers and supplies; however, the in- 
habitants were granted no freedom of trade, and little 
individual freedom, as they could not leave the colony 
without the consent of the officers of the Company. On 
January 1, 1721, 16 the population of the colony was about 
six thousand persons, including about six hundred 

The settlement sustained a heavy blow in 1720, when 
Law's bank and his financial scheme collapsed. About 
two hundred and fifty Germans who had been sent to 
Law's concession in Arkansas were reduced to great dis- 
tress, and in 1723 received grants of land on the coast of 
the Mississippi and founded the German Coast, now St. 
Charles and St. John Parishes. Their commandant was 
the Chevalier d'Arensbourg, a Swedish officer. 

In a despatch dated April 20, 1722, Bienville called at- 
tention to the disadvantages of the establishment at Bi- 
loxi. The ships coming from France had to be unloaded 
at Ship Island, and the freight taken to Biloxi at great 
expense, while the ships might enter the Mississippi and 
be unloaded within two days. On January 25, 1723, the 
engineer Pauger 1T made an important report 1S about the 
mouth of the river, in which he said that, " On his 
first visit, he found that ships drawing fourteen, fifteen 
feet of water, and even more, could easily pass." " He 


regretted that, in spite of Bienville's representations, the 
Company persisted in sending its ships to Biloxi." He 
added that " it was extremely painful and costly for the 
inhabitants on the river, whose number must increase 
every day, considering the fertility of the lands, to go 
to Biloxi to get their negroes and all that they may 
need.'' He recommended, in order to deepen the chan- 
nel, a system of jetties very similar to that of Captain 
James B. Eads, which was successfully operated a cen- 
tury and a half later. 

Bienville, sustained by Pauger, succeeded in having 
the stores of the Company transferred from Biloxi to 
New Orleans in 1722, and the latter town became the 
capital of the colony. On July 1, 1722, the ship Aventu- 
rier, with Blondel de la Tour, chief engineer and lieu- 
tenant-general, and Pauger, had passed over the bar of 
the Mississippi, and this had proved that New Orleans 
could be made a seaport. Bienville established his resi- 
dence there in August, 1722. La Tour's report of his ex- 
pedition, dated New Orleans, August 30, 1722, is an im- 
portant and interesting document. 19 He says he found 
at least fourteen feet of water in the channel, and adds: 
" In going up the river, I examined the best places to 
establish New Orleans. I did not find a better situation 
than the place where it is ; not only is the land higher, but 
it is near a bayou, which is a little river, which falls into 
Lake Pontchartrain, through which one can at all times 
communicate with the New Biloxi, Mobile, and other 
ports, more easily than by the mouth of the river." La 
Tour says also that he found the country beautiful, and 


that everything that grows in the islands would grow 
on the banks of the Mississippi, except the sugar-cane, 
on account of the frosts. French wheat could also be 
cultivated as soon as the land was sufficiently cleared. 
We see that La Tour was not a good prophet with re- 
gard to sugar-cane and wheat. Cane, which he said 
could not grow, has enriched Louisiana, and wheat never 
has been grown there to advantage. 

On September 11, 1723, a hurricane began, which 
lasted until the 16th. It did great harm to the crops 
of rice, peas, and corn, and destroyed the greater part 
of the houses at New Orleans. The store-house built 
by the engineer Pauger was spared, but the one at Fort 
Louis was destroyed, with a great quantity of goods, " to 
the great content of the storekeepers," says the " Journal 
Historique," " as this accident released them from the 
obligation of rendering their accounts." The comman- 
dant of the post of New Orleans, before the seat of gov- 
ernment was transferred to that place, was De Riche- 
bourg, who has left us a narrative of events at that time. 
The other commandants of posts were Marigny de Man- 
deville, De la Harpe, De Loubois, De Saint Denis, De 
la Marque, Marchand, and De Bournion. Boisbriant 
and Chateaugue were lieutenants of the King — that is 
to say, second and third in command. The province was 
divided into nine districts or quarters: New Orleans, 
Biloxi, Mobile, Alibamons, Natchez, Yazoux or Yazoos, 
Natchitoches, Arkansas, and Illinois. The earliest con- 
cessions established were those of Le Blanc at Yazoux, 
Coly at Natchez, Law at Arkansas, DArtaguette at 


Baton Rouge, Paris Duverney at Pointe Coupee, Ville- 
mont at Blaek River, Cleracs at Natchez, and Chaumont 
at Pascagoulas. 

The following letter, written by Father Charlevoix 20 
to the Duchesse de Lesdiguieres, is very interesting. It 
is dated from New Orleans, January 10, 1722. 

I am at length arrived in that famous city, which has been 
called la Nouvellc Orleans. Those who gave it that name believed 
that Orleans is of the feminine gender; but what does it matter? 
the custom is established, and it is above the rules of grammar. 
This city is the first that one of the greatest rivers in the world 
has seen raised on its banks. If the eight hundred fine houses, 
and the five parishes which the " Mercure " gave it two years ago, 
are reduced to-day to about one hundred huts, placed without much 
order ; to a large store, built of wood ; to two or three houses which 
would not adorn a village in France ; and to half of a poor store, 
which was kindly lent to the lord, and of which he had hardly taken 
possession when they wished to make him leave it, to lodge him 
under a tent, what pleasure on another side to see increasing in- 
sensibly this future capital of a beautiful and vast country, and 
to be able to say, not sighing, like Virgil's hero while speaking 
of his dear country consumed by the flames, " and the fields where 
was the city of Troy," but full of the best grounded hope, this 
wild and desert place, which the reeds and trees still cover almost 
entirely, will be one day, and perhaps that day is not distant, an 
opulent city and the metropolis of a great and rich colony. 

You will ask me, Madam, on what I base this hope? I base 
it on the situation of this town thirty-three leagues from the sea, 
and on the bank of a navigable river, which one can ascend to 
this place in twenty-four hours; on the fertility of its soil; on 
the mildness and goodness of its climate, at a latitude of thirty 
degrees north ; on the industry of its inhabitants ; on the proximity 
of Mexico, where one can go in two weeks by sea; on that of 


Havana, which is still closer, of the most beautiful islands of 
America, and of the English colonies. Is anything more needed 
to render a city flourishing? Rome and Paris did not have such 
important beginnings, were not built under such favorable 
auspices, and their founders did not meet on the Seine and on the 
Tiber the advantages which we have met on the Mississippi, com- 
pared with which these two rivers are only brooks. 

Father Charlevoix seems to have enjoyed the gift of 
prophecy when, in 1722, he predicted such a brilliant fu- 
ture for New Orleans. 

It may be interesting to add to what has been said thus 
far of the colony and of New Orleans in their infancy 
the description of Louisiana as seen by Le Page du Pratz. 
The " History of Louisiana " of Le Page du Pratz is 
very interesting and important. It was published in 
Paris, in three volumes, in 1758. The author remained 
in the colony from 1718 to 1734, and he relates in a 
charming manner what he saw and what he heard dur- 
ing his stay. 

Le Page tells us that he arrived at Massacre Island 
(since called Dauphine) on August 25, 1718. The 
Company of the West had agreed to transport him, at 
their own expense, to the place of his concession, which 
was near the town of New Orleans. Bienville, the com- 
mandant-general of the colony, was absent when Le 
Page arrived at Dauphine Island, having gone to mark 
the site of the new town. On his return he complimented 
Le Page on the concession which he had chosen, saying 
that a farm in the vicinity of a town was better than a 
lordly estate in the woods. 


The new colonist was anxious to go to his concession, 
and Bienville sent him there by way of Lake Pontchar- 
train. He gives an interesting description of the islands, 
bays, and lakes that he saw, and says that by following 
Bayou Tchoupic from Lake Pontchartrain he arrived 
at the place where had been the village of the Indians, 
called by the French Cola Pissas, but whose real name 
was Aquilou Pissas, which means " nation of the men 
who see and who hear." 

The village of the Indians had been bought by a Ca- 
nadian, who received Le Page and his men very hospi- 
tably. The newcomer bought an Indian girl to be his 
cook, and located his concession on Bayou St. John, half 
a league from the future capital of the colony, which 
consisted then of only one cabin covered with palmetto 
leaves. He was pleased at first with his plantation, as 
the land was very fertile; but the place was not health- 
ful, on account of inundations, and he resolved to go to 
the Natchez country. He remained in New Orleans two 
months before leaving for his new establishment, and 
saw the presentation of the calumet of peace to Bien- 
ville by the Tchitimachas 21 (Chetimachas). There were 
twelve men, preceded by the " word-bearer," all splen- 
didly adorned. Each man carried a chichicois and agi- 
tated it in cadence while singing the song of the calumet, 
which the " word-bearer " carried moving also in cadence. 
It took them half an hour to go over a distance 
of a hundred steps from their pirogues to Bienville's 
cabin. The " word-bearer " told the governor: " Here 
you are, and I with you." Bienville simply answered, 


" Yes." Then all the Indians sat on the ground and 
hent their faces on their hands, as if to meditate. After 
a moment, the "word-bearer" rose with two men; one 
man filled the calumet with tobacco, the other brought 
some fire, and the first man lighted the pipe. The " word- 
bearer " smoked the calumet, wiped it, and presented it 
to Bienville, who smoked also. All the persons present 
did the same; the two savages sat down by the present 
which they had brought, — deerskins, — and the " word- 
bearer " was the only one standing. He was dressed 
in beaver-skins. He delivered an address, after which 
Bienville replied to him in the language of the savages. 
He gave them something to eat, put his hand in that of 
the " word-bearer " as a sign of friendship, and sent them 
all away contented. 

Le Page bought in New Orleans two slaves, a young 
negro and his wife, for whom he paid 1320 livres, and 
he departed for the Natchez country in a pirogue in 
which were his negro slaves and his Indian slave. His 
food on the journey consisted of the wild ducks and 
geese that he killed. His slaves added to their diet tails 
of alligators, which were plentiful in the river. At the 
Tonicas Father Davion celebrated mass for the travelers. 
It was he who had given his name to the bluff called 
Roche a Davion, where, later, Fort Adams was estab- 

At a distance of eighty leagues from New Orleans 
was Fort Rosalie, on a bluff, or ecore, two hundred feet 
high. At a thousand steps from the fort Le Page bought 
from one of the Natchez Indians a cabin and a piece of 


cleared ground. His men built a cabin near his, and 
they were lodged, says he, like the wood-cutters in France 
when they are working in the forests. He was soon on 
very good terms with the Indians, and was cured of sci- 
atica by a jongleur — a medicine-man. 

The limits of Louisiana as given by Le Page, are 
important. They have often been quoted in boundary 
discussions. " Louisiana," says he, " situate in the 
northern part of America, is bounded on the south by 
the Gulf of Mexico, on the east by Carolina, English col- 
ony, and by part of Canada, on the west by New Mexico, 
on the north in part by Canada: the rest has no bounda- 
ries, and extends as far as the unknown lands bordering 
on Hudson Bay. It is given a breadth of about two hun- 
dred leagues, between the Spanish and the English set- 
tlements, its length is indeterminate, since it is unknown : 
however, the source of the river St. Louis will give us 
some information on that subject." 

The climate of Louisiana, according to Le Page, is 
different from that of other countries in the same lati- 
tude, the southern part not as hot as in Africa, and the 
northern colder than in Europe. At New Orleans the 
temperature is about the same as in the province of 
Languedoc in France. Life is long and agreeable for 
people who do not give themselves up to debauchery, and 
men live longer in Louisiana than in France. " The river 
St. Louis divides this colony from north to south into 
two parts almost equal. The first who discovered it from 
Canada, named it the Colbert, to do honor to that great 
minister who was then in office; it is named by some 


savages of the north Meact-Chassipi, which signifies liter- 
ally Old Father of Rivers, out of which the French, who 
wish always to Frenchify foreign words, have made Mis- 
sissippi; other natives, especially on the lower part of 
the river, name it Balhancha; finally the French have 
named it River St. Louis." The journey from New Or- 
leans to Canada is made hy going up the river St. Louis 
as far as the Ouabache River, called by some Ohio ; up 
the latter to the Miami River, where there is a portage 
of two leagues; then a little river which falls into Lake 
Erie, where the pirogue is changed for a bark canoe to 
go down the St. Lawrence to Quebec. 

The waters Avhich come out of the St. Louis or Missis- 
sippi River never go back to the river, as the banks are 
raised by the trees and mud that the river carries, and the 
land slopes toward the woods. The coast of Louisiana is 
bounded on the west by the bay of St. Bernard, where La 
Salle landed, and on the east by the Rio Perdido. Lower 
Louisiana is alluvial land, and one century is sufficient 
to extend Louisiana two leagues toward the sea. 

In 1721 Le Page went to New Biloxi, and he says he 
never could gviess why they had chosen that place for the 
principal establishment of the colony, and why they had 
thought of building the capital there. The land is sterile, 
and it is exceedingly difficult to unload anything from 
the ships, as the water is so shallow near the coast. 
While at Biloxi Le Page saw the people sent by Law 
to establish his concession at the Arkansas. It was to 
be four leagues square, and was erected into a duchy. 
There were equipments for a company of dragoons, and 


goods worth more than a million livrcs, and the conces- 
sion was to he settled by fifteen hundred persons. But 
Law failed, and the Company of the Indies took posses- 
sion of all his effects. 

Le Page gives a long narrative of his explorations 
in the interior of Louisiana, and becomes poetic when he 
speaks of the delightful song of the little birds, which 
vie with one another at sunset to render thanks to the 
Almighty, who has procured their food during the day 
and has protected them from the talons of the birds of 

In his description of Louisiana, Le Page speaks of the 
post at Natchitoches and pays a beautiful tribute to the 
commandant, St. Denis. He says the latter deserved to 
be governor of the whole colony, since he was as prudent 
an administrator as he was a brave officer. The savages 
were devoted to him, and at a sign from him thirty thou- 
sand warriors would have assembled to serve under him. 
That attachment was surprising, if we consider that 
most of the Indians devoted to St. Denis lived in the 
country of the Spaniards, who had erected a fort distant 
only seven leagues from the French post. 

The boats used by the natives were the cajeu, the pi- 
rogue, and the canoe. The cajeux were made of cane 
tied together, then crossed double; they were used to 
cross rivers, as they could be made in a very short time. 
The pirogues were made in one block, from the trunks of 
trees; and the canoes were made from the bark of the 
birch tree. In colonial times all these boats were called 


The list of the Indian tribes in Louisiana given by Le 
Page is interesting and important. In the vicinity of 
Mobile was a branch of the great tribe of the Apalaches ; 
north of them were the Alibamons ; east of the Alibamons, 
the Caouitas, to whose chief Bienville had given the title 
of Emperor, which was not recognized by the neighbor- 
ing tribes. North of the Alibamons were the Abeikas or 
Conchacs, whose neighbors on the east were the Chera- 
quis (Cherokees). All these nations and a few smaller 
ones had formed an alliance against the Iroquois. The 
tribes on the Mobile River were the Chatots, near Fort 
Louis of Mobile; the Thomez; the Taensas, who are a 
branch of the Natchez and who preserve a perpetual fire 
guarded by men; and the Mobilians, near the mouth of 
the river. West of Mobile were the Pachca-Ogoulas, 
" nation of bread," called by the French Pascagoulas. 
North of the latter were the Chat-kas (Choctaws) , called 
by the French Chactas, or " flatheads." They were very 
numerous, but not very warlike. Different from the 
Chat-kas were the warlike Tchicachas (Chickasaws). 
Near Lake Pontchartrain, called St. Louis by Le Page, 
were the Colapissas. On the east bank of the Missis- 
sippi, twenty leagues from New Orleans, were the Ou- 
mas; opposite Red River were the Tunicas, whose chief 
was so friendly to the French that the King had given 
him the title of Brigadier of the Red Armies, and had 
sent him a cane with a gold head, and a blue ribbon with 
a medal representing on one side the marriage of the 
King, and on the other the city of Paris. The great tribe 
of the Natchez came next. The tradition was that they 


had been the most powerful nation in North America, 
but in 1720, together with the Grigras and the Thioux 
who dwelt among them, they could raise only twelve 
hundred warriors. On the Yazoo River were the Ya- 
zoux " (Yazoos), the Chactchi-Oumas (the " Red Craw- 
fish "), the Tapoussas, the Coroas; and near the Yazoo, 
the Oufe-Ogoulas. These five little tribes joined the na- 
tion of the Chickasaws after the Natchez massacre. North 
of the Ouabache River (Ohio) were the Illinois, com- 
prising the tribes of the Tamaroas, the Caskasquias, the 
Caoukias, the Pimiteouis, and a few others. The Illinois 
were always faithful allies of the French. To the north 
were the Renards (Foxes) and the Sioux, who were 
known only by reports of the travelers. The tribes west 
of the Mississippi were the Ouachas, the Tchitimachas 
(Chetimachas), the Atac-Apas (Attakapas)— men-eat- 
ers j the Bayoux-Ogoulas (Bayagoulas), the Oque-Lous- 
sas, the Avoyels, the Natchitoches, the Cadodaquioux, the 
Ouachitas, the Arkansas, the Kappas, the Mitchigamias. 
Near the Missouri River were the Osages, the Missouris, 
the Canchez, the Othouez, the White Panis, the Black 
Panis, the Panimahas, the Aiaouez, and the Padoucas, 
who were the most numerous. The Sioux were said to 
reside on both sides of the Mississippi. 

While Le Page was at New Biloxi in 1721 he met Fa- 
ther Charlevoix, and they went to New Orleans together. 
The description that our author gives, at a later period, 
of the new town is about the same as that in Dumont's 
Memoirs. In 1726 Le Page accepted the place of mana- 
ger or overseer of the plantation of the Company of the 




Indies, which after a few years hecame the plantation 
of the King. It was near New Orleans. In 1734 the 
government got rid of the plantation, which was said 
to cost ten thousand livres a year. Le Page pretends that 
the plantation was an economy to the King of fifty thou- 
sand livres a year. He returned to France in 1734. His 
hook, although written with some prolixity and contain- 
ing some extraordinary stories, is one of the most interest- 
ing concerning the early history of Louisiana. 


Abstracts of the most important Royal Orders, 

Regulations, and Edicts concerning 

Louisiana, from 1719 to 1729 

Forbids governors, etc., to possess plantations— Forbids vagabonds and 
criminals to be sent to Louisiana— About foreign commerce— About carry- 
ing swords— About firing cannon in harbors of colonies— About redemption- 
ers— About sailors deserting — About games of chance— Edict concerning 
negro slaves, known as the "Black Code"— About killing of cattle— About 
opening letters — About landing slaves — About the punishment of desert- 
ers—About military crimes and offenses — About exclusion of foreign com- 
merce—Regulations for hospitals. 

November 7, 1719. 

ORBIDS governors, lieutenant-gen- 
erals, and intendants in the colony to 
possess plantations. They are al- 
lowed to have vegetable-gardens. 

May 9, 1 720. The King being in- 
formed that the Company of the 
Indies is in a condition to attend 

to the cultivation of the lands of Louisiana, by means 
of negroes that it furnishes to the colonists; that, be- 
sides, a number of families, French and foreign, offer 
to settle in the concessions granted to different in- 
dividuals; that the grantees of the concessions refuse 
to take charge of the vagabonds and criminals who 



have been condemned to serve in the colony, because 
they are lazy people and of bad morals, less fit to 
work than to corrupt the other colonists, and even the 
natives, who are a nation gentle, docile, industrious, 
laborious, and friendly to the French ; and that the vaga- 
bonds and criminals may be more usefully employed in 
the other colonies, on account of the larger number of 
Frenchmen who inhabit there, — it is ordered that no more 
vagabonds, forgers, and criminals be sent to Louisiana, 
and the judges are forbidden to condemn any such peo- 
ple to be sent to Louisiana. 

July 23, 1720. The King, being informed that for- 
eign commerce continues in some of his colonies, in spite 
of his prohibition, orders all commanders of his vessels 
to pursue and capture any vessel, whether French or 
foreign, attending to foreign commerce in his colonies of 
America, and to take the vessel to the nearest island. 
All subjects of His Majesty are permitted to do the 

July 23, 1720. Forbids all persons who are not officers 
to carry a sword when they reside in the towns of the 
colonies. The prohibition does not apply to officers of 
merchant vessels. 

'April 8, 1721. His Majesty, having been informed 
that the captains of merchant vessels fire cannon very 
often in the harbors of the colonies, especially of Fort 
Royal, and St. Peter of Martinique, when they have 
festivals among themselves or when they wish to salute 
some persons who go on board their ships, which causes 
useless expense to the ship-owners, and occasions often 


the capture of these vessels, because they do not have 
enough powder left to defend themselves against cor- 
sairs; being informed also that these salutes, from want 
of precaution, cause accidents to the cannoneers; and 
that, besides these inconveniences, the volleys fired during 
the night serve only to cause alarm in the colonies, — it is 
expressly forbidden to fire a single cannon, under any 
pretext, in the harbors of the French colonies, unless 
as a signal of distress or other necessity, without the ex- 
press permission of the officer of the King commanding 
in the places where the ships will be anchored, under 
penalty of a fine of one hundred livres for the first of- 
fense and of double that amount if the offense is re- 

May 20, 1721. An ordinance of November 16, 1716, 
relating to redemptioners is re-affirmed. " Vessels, leav- 
ing the kingdom for any of the King's American colonies, 
were directed to carry thither, if under sixty tons, four, 
and if above, six redemptioners, whose period of service 
was fixed at three years. They were required to be able- 
bodied, between the ages of seventeen and forty, and 
in size not under four feet. It was provided that the 
redemptioners, whom the captain might not sell, should 
be given by the governor to some of the planters who 
had not any, and who were to pay their passage." The 
ordinance of 1721 allows merchants of the ports that 
have permission to trade with the colonies to pay sixty 
livres for each redemptioner whom they had to furnish, 
if individuals for that purpose were not furnished them 
by the government. 


December 23, 1721. Orders that sailors who shall be 
found in the colonies after the departure of their ships 
be imprisoned until they can be sent back to France in 
ships that do not have enough sailors. 

December 15, 1722. His Majesty having been in- 
formed that, in spite of his ordinances concerning games 
of chance, several inhabitants and other individuals of 
the French islands and colonies of America, even mer- 
chants from France, and their agents, play games of 
chance, of which the unjust inequality excites frequent 
quarrels among the players, gives rise to odious usury, 
and causes the ruin of several families, by leading young 
men into debauchery, — with the advice of the Duke of 
Orleans, Regent, His Majesty expressly forbids all per- 
sons,of whatever condition, to play or to allowto be played 
in their houses, games of bassette, pharaon, lansquenet, 
hoca, quinquenove, beriby, dice, and other games of 
chance ; also forbids innkeepers and others to allow gam- 
bling in their houses. The penalty was a fine of five hun- 
dred livres for the first offense, and more if repeated. 
One fourth of the fine was to be paid to the informer, or, 
in his default, to public works; one fourth to the near- 
est hospital, and the other half to public works. An 
ordinance issued by Philip of Orleans against gamblers 
is a curious thing. It is also curious to see the names of 
the games of chance in 1722. 

In March, 1724, the King issued at Versailles an 
" Edict concerning the negro slaves in Louisiana." 
This is generally known as the " Black Code," which 
remained in force in colonial times, and of which some 

ir«i] THE BLACK CODE 87 

of the provisions were incorporated into the code of 
American Lonisiana. The edict, 1 according to the official 
certificate of Rossard, clerk of the Superior Council, was 
read, recorded, and published in New Orleans on Sep- 
tember 10, 1724. The preamble to this edict is given here 
in full, to show the forms of such documents. 

Louis, by the Grace of God, King of France and of Navarre, 
to all present and to come, greeting. The Directors of the Com- 
pany of the Indies having represented to us that the Province and 
colon}' of Louisiana is considerably established, by a large number 
of our subjects, who use slaves for the cultivation of the lands, We 
have judged that it behooves our authority and our justice, for the 
preservation of this colony, to establish there a law, and certain 
rules, to maintain there the discipline of the Catholic Apostolic 
and Roman Church, and to order about what concerns the state 
and condition of the slaves in the said Islands, 2 and desiring to 
provide for this, and to make known to our subjects who inhabit 
there and who shall settle there in the future, that although they 
inhabit climes infinitely remote, We are always present, by the 
extent of our power and by our application to succor them. Actu- 
ated by these causes and others, by the advice of our Council, 
and by our certain knowledge, full power and Royal authority, 
We have said, decreed, and ordered, We say, decree, and order, 
wish and it pleases us, the following. 

Article I orders that the edict of 1615 be applied to 
Louisiana, and that all Jews who may have established 
their religion there be expelled within three months, un- 
der penalty of confiscation of body and property. 

Article II orders that all slaves in the province be 
instructed and baptized in the Catholic religion. 


Article III forbids the exercise of any other religion 
than the Catholic. 

Article IV forbids the employment of any overseer 
who shall not be a Catholic, under penalty of confisca- 
tion of the negroes and punishment of the overseer. 

Article V orders Sundays and holidays to be regu- 
larly observed, and forbids all work by masters or slaves, 
under penalty of confiscation of slaves and punishment 
of masters. The slaves, however, may be sent marketing. 

Article VI forbids marriage of whites with slaves, 
and concubinage of whites and manumitted or free-born 
blacks with slaves, and imposes penalties. 

Article VII orders to be observed, for marriages of 
free persons as well as of slaves, the solemnities of the 
ordinance of Blois and of the edict of 1639. The con- 
sent of the parents of the slave is not necessary, but only 
that of the master. 

Article VIII forbids curates to celebrate marriages 
of slaves without consent of the masters, and forbids mas- 
ters to force their slaves to marry against their will. 

Article IX enacts that children born from the mar- 
riages of slaves shall belong to the master of the mother. 

Article X enacts that if the husband be a slave and 
the wife a free woman, the children shall be free like their 
mother. If the husband be free and the wife a slave, the 
children shall be slaves. 

Article XI orders that masters shall have baptized 
slaves buried in consecrated ground; those who die with- 
out being baptized to be buried at night in a neighboring 


Article XII forbids slaves to carry offensive wea- 
pons or heavy sticks, under penalty of the whip and 
confiscation of the weapons in favor of the person seiz- 
ing them. Slaves that are sent hunting by their masters, 
and carry notes or known marks, are excepted. 

Article XIII forbids slaves belonging to different 
masters to assemble in crowds, by day or by night, under 
pretext of weddings or other causes, either at one of 
their masters or elsewhere, and still less on the highways 
or secluded places, under penalty of corporal punish- 
ment, which shall not be less than the whip and the fleur- 
de-lys ; and in case of repetition of the offense and other 
aggravating circumstances, capital punishment may be 
applied, at the discretion of the judges. It also com- 
mands all subjects of the King, whether officers or not, to 
seize and arrest the offenders and conduct them to prison, 
although there be no judgment against them. 

Article XIV condemns to damages and a fine of 
thirty livres for the first time, and double that amount for 
repetition of the offense, masters who shall be convicted 
of having permitted or tolerated such assemblies. 

Article XV forbids slaves to sell commodities, pro- 
visions, or produce of any kind, without express written 
permission from their masters, or known marks. The 
purchasers shall pay a fine of six livres for fruit, vege- 
tables, timber, fodder, and seeds, and fifteen hundred 
livres for merchandise and clothes. They shall lose the 
price of the articles, and shall be prosecuted as receivers 
of stolen goods. 

Article XVI provides for examination in each mar- 


ket of goods brought by the slaves and of the written per- 
missions and marks of their masters. 

Article XVII orders seizure of goods that are of- 
fered for sale by slaves without permission or mark. 

Article XVIII orders officers of the Superior Coun- 
cil to give their advice about the provisions and the food 
to be furnished the slaves. It also forbids masters to 
give any kind of brandy in lieu of food and clothing. 

Article XIX forbids masters to abstain from feed- 
ing and clothing their slaves, by permitting them to work 
for their own account on a certain day of the week. 

Article XX authorizes slaves to give information 
against their masters, if not properly fed or clad, or if 
treated inhumanly. 

Article XXI orders slaves disabled from working, 
by old age, sickness, or otherwise, to be provided for by 
their masters, otherwise they shall be sent to the nearest 
hospital, to which the masters shall pay eight cents a day 
for each slave, and the hospital shall have a lien on the 
plantations of the masters. 

Article XXII declares that slaves can have no- 
thing that does not belong to their masters, in whatever 
way acquired. 

Article XXIII orders that masters be held respon- 
sible for what their slaves have done by their command. 

Article XXIV forbids slaves from exercising pub- 
lic functions, from serving as arbitrators or experts, from 
giving testimony except in default of white people, and 
from ever serving as witnesses for or against their mas- 

17*4] THE BLACK CODE 91 

Article XXV forbids slaves from being parties to 
civil suits or complainants in criminal cases. Their mas- 
ters shall act for them in civil cases and demand repara- 
tion or punishment for outrages and excesses committed 
against them. 

Article XXVI orders prosecution of slaves in crim- 
inal cases in the same manner as for free persons, with 
exceptions hereafter mentioned. 

Article XXVII. Any slave who shall have struck 
his master, his mistress, or the husband of his mistress, 
or their children, so as to produce a bruise or shedding 
of blood in the face, shall be put to death. 

Article XXVIII. Outrages or acts of violence 
against free persons committed by slaves shall be pun- 
ished with severity, and even with death if the case re- 
quire it. 

Article XXIX. Important thefts, even the stealing 
of horses, mares, mules, oxen, or cows, committed by 
slaves or manumitted persons, shall make the offender 
liable to corporal punishment, and even to capital punish- 
ment, according to the circumstances. 

Article XXX. Thefts of sheep, goats, hogs, poultry, 
grain, fodder, peas, beans, or other vegetables and pro- 
visions, committed by slaves, shall be punished accord- 
ing to the kind of theft, and the judges may sentence 
them to be whipped by the public executioner and branded 
with the fleur-de-lys. 

Article XXXI. Masters shall be bound, besides the 
corporal punishment inflicted on their slaves, to repair 
the harm done, unless they prefer to abandon the slaves 


to the sufferer, and they shall make this choice within 
three days after the conviction of the slaves. 

Article XXXII. Any runaway slave who shall con- 
tinue to be so for one month from the day his master 
shall have denounced him, shall have his ears cut and be 
branded with a fleur-de-lys on one shoulder. For a 
second offense he shall be hamstrung and branded on the 
other shoulder. For a third offense he shall suffer death. 

Article XXXIII refers to trials and appeals to the 
Superior Council. 

Article XXXIV. Freed or free-born negroes who 
shall have given refuge to fugitive slaves shall pay thirty 
livres for each day of retention, to the masters of the 
slaves, and other free persons ten livres a day. If the 
freed or free-born negroes are not able to pay the fine, 
they shall be reduced to the condition of slaves and sold 
as such. 

Article XXXV gives permission to make searches 
for fugitive slaves. 

Article XXXVI. Any slave condemned to death on 
the denunciation of his master, who is not accomplice to 
the crime, shall be appraised by two of the principal in- 
habitants specially appointed by the judge, and the 
amount shall be paid to the master. To raise this sum, a 
tax shall be laid on every slave. 

Article XXXVII. All officers of justice are forbid- 
den to receive fees in criminal suits against slaves. 

Article XXXVIII forbids the application of the 
rack to slaves, under any pretext, on private authority, 
or mutilation of a limb, under penalty of confiscation 
of the slaves and of criminal prosecution of the masters. 


The latter are allowed only, when they believe that their 
slaves have deserved it, to put them in irons and to have 
them whipped with rods or ropes. 

Article XXXIX commands officers of justice to 
prosecute masters and overseers who shall have killed or 
mutilated slaves, and to punish the murder according to 
the atrocity of the circumstances. In case the offense 
shall be pardonable, the officers are permitted to pardon 
the masters and overseers without being obliged to obtain 
letters patent of pardon. 

Article XL. Slaves are considered movables, exempt 
from seizure under mortgage, to be equally divided 
among co-heirs. 

Articles XLI and XLII refer to judicial forms 
and proceedings. 

Article XLIII. Husbands and wives, and their chil- 
dren under the age of puberty, shall not be seized and 
sold separately when belonging to the same master. 

Article XLIV refers to seizure of slaves for debt. 

Articles XLV to XLIX refer to certain judicial pro- 

Article L. Masters aged twenty-five years shall have 
the power to manumit their slaves. As, however, there 
may be mercenary masters to set a price on the liberation 
of their slaves, which leads the slaves to commit thefts 
or deeds of plunder, no person shall be permitted to free 
his slaves without obtaining from the Superior Council 
a permission to that effect. 

Article LI. Slaves appointed by their masters tutors 
to their children shall be held as having been set free. 

Article LII. All manumitted slaves and all free- 




born negroes are prohibited from receiving gifts from 

Article LIII. Manumitted slaves are commanded 
to show great respect to their former masters, their wid- 
ows and their children, and any injury done them shall 
be punished more severely than if it had been done to 
any other person. They are exempt, however, from all 
duties and services, taxes and fees, which their former 
masters might claim from them. 

Article LIV. Manumitted slaves shall enjoy the 
same rights, privileges, and immunities that are enjoyed 
by free-born persons. " It is our pleasure that their 
merit in having acquired their freedom shall produce in 
their favor, not only with regard to their persons, but 
also to their property, the same effects that our other sub- 
jects derive from the happy circumstances of their hav- 
ing been born free." 

Article LV. Fines and confiscations that have no 
particular destination are to be paid to the Company of 
the Indies, except one third to the nearest hospital. 

The edict ends with these words: "For such is our 

May 20, 1724. Declares that as, in spite of the decree 
of the Superior Council of Louisiana, dated April 29, 
1723, forbidding the killing or wounding of cattle, under 
penalty of a fine of fifteen hundred livres, it happens 
daily that soldiers and vagabonds kill and destroy the 
cattle of the planters, and as it is of very great impor- 
tance to prevent the destruction of cattle in a colony that 
is not entirely established, and to provide, at the same 

it,'-] DESERTERS 95 

time, the means of multiplying the species, — all persons, 
whatever he their rank or condition, are forbidden to 
kill or wound cattle belonging to other persons, under 
penalty of death. It is also forbidden to any inhabitant 
to kill any cows, ewes, and females of domestic animals 
necessary to the planters, under a fine of three hundred 
livres for the first offense, and six hundred livres and 
three months imprisonment if the offense is repeated. 

May 20, 1724. Forbids intercepting and opening let- 
ters and packages, and imposes a penalty. 

July 25, 1724- Forbids captains of slave-ships to sell 
or buy any negro before health inspection is made and 
permission to land the negro given, under penalty of a 
fine of one thousand livres to be paid the informer. 

September 24, 1724- Extends for one year permission 
granted to the French merchants trading with the French 
colonies of America to import from foreign countries 
lard, butter, tallow, candles, and salted salmon, without 
paying duties. 

January 26, 1727. Orders that deserters from the 
troops of the Company of the Indies be punished m the 
same manner as deserters from the troops of the King. 
The punishments were as follows: When two deserters 
shall be arrested together, or two taken to a place on the 
same day, they shall be put to death without remission; 
but if there be more than two, in order to avoid the effu- 
sion of blood, His Majesty wishes that, after they have 
been condemned to death, they shall draw lots, three by 
three, to decide which one shall be put to death, and the 
two others shall be condemned to the galleys for life. 


Those soldiers, however, who are convicted of desertion 
while on guard duty shall be put to death, whatever be 
their number. All horsemen, dragoons, or soldiers de- 
serting into foreign countries shall be hanged, whatever 
be their number. 

July lj 1727. In the ordinance concerning military 
crimes and offenses, the punishment prescribed for al- 
most every offense is death by shooting, hanging, or 
breaking on the wheel; for blasphemy, the tongue is to 
be pierced with a hot iron; the death penalty or galleys 
for life for stealing in the barracks clothes or bread. 
This extraordinary severity was not confined to France 
alone, but was general in Europe at that time. 

The edict of October, 1727, and the declaration of the 
King of November 10, 1727, rigidly excluded foreign 
commerce from the French colonies. The only exception 
was salt meat from Ireland, which was allowed to be in- 
troduced into the colonies. 

January 1, 1729. Some of the articles of a regulation 
for the hospitals of the King's troops appear very curi- 
ous to us. The physician shall visit the patients every 
day. He shall be accompanied by an assistant to the 
surgeon, who shall write down the bleedings ordered and 
the regimen. An apothecary and nurses shall accompany 
the physician, to report to him the effects of the drugs 
and anything that may have happened to the patients. 
The physician, as well as the surgeon, shall taste the 
soup and the wine, shall see the meat and the bread, and 
shall forbid that any fruit be given the patients or 
any food unfit for them. The physician shall visit the 

1799] HOSPITALS 97 

pharmacy from time to time, to examine the quality and 
quantity of the drugs. The surgeon shall oblige all his 
aides to sleep in the hospital, and if he lodges there he 
shall visit their room to see if they are there. If there 
is an assistant surgeon, he shall attend to this. No sol- 
dier shall be permitted to make a will in favor of the offi- 
cers of the hospital where he shall be, not even in favor 
of the chaplain or of the latter's convent under pre- 
text of pious legacy. All the officers of the hospital 
shall see to it that none of the patients or attendants shall 
blaspheme, curse, or use improper words. 



New Orleans in its beginning— War with the Natchez-— Bienville's recall to 
France— His services— Early censuses— Notice of Dubreuil— Governor 
Perier— The Ursulines— New Orleans as seen by Sister Madeleine Hachard — 
The first residence of the Ursulines —The convent— The ecclesiastical juris- 
dictions—The Capuchins and the Jesuits— The currency— Progress of the 
colony— The early population of Louisiana— Massacre by the Natchez— The 
Yazoos join the Natchez— The Choctaws remain faithful to the French— 
Loubois attacks the Natchez— The Natchez routed by St. Denis— The Tu- 
nicas—Plot of the negroes— Governor Perier attacks the Natchez— The last 
stand of the Natchez -Ruin of the Natchez. 

UMONT, who was twenty-two years 
in Louisiana, has given such an in- 
teresting account of New Orleans in 
its beginning that we shall quote 
freely from his Memoirs. He says : ' 
" The Sieur de la Tour had no sooner 
arrived at this place— which then 
consisted only of a few unimportant houses, scattered 
here and there, and which had been formed by some 
travelers who had come down from the Illinois — than 
he caused to be cleared along the river quite a large space, 
in order that he might put in execution the plan he had 
projected; then, with the help of some piqueurs, he 
traced on the ground the streets and the quarters that 


1793] NEW ORLEANS 99 

were to compose the new town, and announced that all 
who wished to have building-lots should present their 
petitions to the Council. They gave to each settler who 
appeared ten toises 2 front by twenty deep, and as each 
quarter was fifty toises square, it is understood that there 
must have been in each twelve inhabitants, of whom 
the two in the middle had ten toises front by twenty- 
five deep. It was ordered that those who should obtain 
some of these lots should be obliged to inclose them with 
palisades, and to leave all round a vacant space at least 
three feet wide, at the foot of which a ditch should be 
dug to serve as a drain to the waters of the river in the 
season of inundation. Not only did the Sieur de la Tour 
believe that he was obliged to order those canals, which 
communicate from quarter to quarter, but also, to protect 
the city from inundation, he caused to be erected in front, 
and near a slight elevation that leads to the river, a dike 
or levee of earth, at the foot of which he dug a similar 
drain. The parish church of New Orleans is built facing 
the Place d'Armes, and is served by the Reverend Capu- 
chin Fathers; one of them is vicar-general of the Bishop 
of Quebec. At some distance from the city is a very fine 
house, where reside the Reverend Jesuit Fathers. It 
belonged formerly to M. de Bienville, commandant- 
general in the country, who sold it to them. There is in 
this city a Council, which meets generally on Tuesdays 
and Saturdays. It is composed of six councilors, an 
attorney-general, and an intendant who is at the same 
time commissaire ordonnateur ; also a clerk and a secre- 
tary of the Council. Lawsuits are settled there without 


attorneys or counselors, and consequently without ex- 
pense, on the pleadings of the parties. Finally, this 
place, which in the beginning was hardly a good-sized vil- 
lage, may now justly be called a city. On the levee, to 
the left, a little above the intendant's, is the market, and 
opposite the place, near the storehouses, is the anchorage 
for vessels, which almost touch the shore. There is also 
a prison in front of the square, and beside it is the guard- 
house. The powder-magazine is at a distance from the 
city, not to be exposed to fire. In a word, it may be said 
that nothing is lacking to this capital except fortifica- 
tions, which have not yet been begun. Besides, there 
are very fine brick houses, and a very large number of 
houses four and five stories high." Two statements in 
Dumont's Memoirs are noticeable: first, that when the 
author resided in New Orleans it was the golden age of 
the city, when lawsuits were settled without lawyers and 
without expense ; second, Dumont says there were at that 
time buildings four and five stories high. If this is true, 
the tradition is incorrect which says that the first four- 
story house built in New Orleans is the one now standing 
at the corner of Royal and St. Peter streets, erected 
during the Spanish domination. 

From Dumont and Le Page du Pratz we obtain the 
best account of the war with the Natchez in 1723. When 
this tribe of Indians again committed depredations and 
murdered some Frenchmen, Bienville marched against 
them with seven hundred soldiers. He attacked the 
White Apple village and two other villages, obtained 
from chief Stung Serpent the head of the chief of the 



White Apple village, and that of a free negro residing 
among the Natchez, and a second time restored quiet to 
the country. His administration, so far, had been suc- 
cessful, and he had shown great firmness in his dealings 
with the Indians. We are, therefore, astonished to see 
him recalled to France in 1724. Boisbriant became gov- 
ernor ad interim. 

Bienville's enemies succeeded in bringing about his 
downfall. His services, from 1698 to 1724, had been 
great. Among them were the foundation of New Or- 
leans and the transfer of the seat of government to 
that town in 1722, and his efforts to provide educa- 
tion for the people. It was he who invited the Ursu- 
line nuns to New Orleans, and who established the first 
girls' school and the first hospital. Shortly before the 
end of his last administration he asked of the French 
government the establishment of a Jesuits' college 
for boys in New Orleans, but did not succeed in his 

The following statistics are copied from the archives 
at the Ministry of the Colonies in Paris : 

Census of New Orleans, November 24, 1721. Recapitulation: 
Men, 446; women, 140; children, 96; negro slaves, 523; Indian 
slaves, 51 ; cattle, 233 ; horses, 33. 

Census of New Orleans in 1723. Recapitulation: Men bearing 
arms, 229; women or girls, 169; children, 183; orphans, 45; 
slaves, 267 ; horses, 14 ; cattle, 267 ; guns, 313 ; pistols, 25. 

General census of the colony of Louisiana on January 1, 1726. 
Recapitulation: Masters, 1952; hired men and servants, 276; 
negro slaves, 1540; Indian slaves, 229. 



General census of the department of New Orleans on July 1, 
1727. Recapitulation: 

Masters Hired Negroes Savages Cattle Horses Hogs 

New Orleans 729. , 

The Bayou and Chan- 

tilly 42. 

Inhabitants up the 

river on the right . . 243 . 

Idem on the left 306. 

On the shore of Lake 

Pontchartrain .... 7. 
On Bayou Tauchpao. 2. 




. 231. 

. 10. 

. — 



. 5. 

. 214. 

. 27. 

. 75 




. 993. 





. 5. 

. 356. 

. 37. 

. 36 



a a 




. 1. 

— . 

. — . 

, — 

Totals 1329. .138. .1561. .73. .1794. .181. .514 

The following notice of Joseph Dubreuil, dated 1724, 
is interesting: 

Claude Joseph Dubreuil, aged 30 years, native of Dijon, came 
in Comte de Toulouse in 1719. He is one of the most laborious 
and most intelligent of all the inhabitants. He understands 
mechanics, and is of all trades. His lot is the largest, the finest, 
and the best cleared in the colony. He has been the first to make 
levees and deep ditches for the drainage of the waters in the 
swamps, to keep his lands dry. He gave the idea and made him- 
self seven to eight thousand toises of canals, besides four or five 
thousand toises of ditches. He has a large house with two wings 
which serve as a store, which he is completing at present. He has 
the best lodging in the colony. He has a very fine view. 

As a confirmation of the statement that Dubreuil was 
the first that made levees and drainage canals in Louisi- 


ana, we may mention a letter written by him in 1740. 
He speaks of the canal that he is digging at his own 
expense near Xew Orleans, and he asks the protection of 
the King on account of the services he has rendered the 
colony since his arrival there in 1719. He says: " The 
establishment of Xew Orleans in the beginning was aw- 
ful, the river when it was high spreading over the whole 
ground, and in all the houses there were two feet of water, 
which caused general and mortal diseases. As I was 
known to be enterprising and not capable of refusing 
a service, the Directors begged me to make the levee, and 
I made two thirds of it without any compensation, and 
Xew Orleans was out of inundation and as dry as if it 
had been built on a high land." The canal that Dubreuil 
was digging was necessary for bringing lumber to ship 
to France, and for building vessels, which he intended 
to do. 

Dubreuil, called also Villars Dubreuil, sold on most 
liberal terms a house for the residence of the governor, 
and he was a very useful citizen. It is pitiful to see that 
in 1778 his widow, owing to his disinterestedness, was 
reduced to absolute poverty in France, and his six chil- 
dren in Louisiana were living in the woods with the 

Bienville's successor, Perier, arrived in Xew Orleans 
in October, 1726. He was " a brave marine officer, to 
whose praise it can be said that he caused himself to be 
loved by the troops as well as by the inhabitants, for 
his equity and his benevolent generosity." 3 Bienville's 
relatives, his brother Chateaugue and his nephew De 


Noyan, were recalled to France, as well as his cousin 
Boisbriant a little later. De la Chaise, the commissary, 
had been the chief cause of Boisbriant's fall, and when 
Perier reached Louisiana he met with no opposition from 
the partisans of Bienville. 

We have seen that he took great interest in education, 
and that it was he who invited the Ursuline nuns to come 
to Louisiana. He had at first endeavored to obtain some 
Gray sisters from Canada, and had not succeeded. Then 
Father de Beaubois, a Jesuit, had suggested the Ursu- 
lines. A contract was finally signed with them on Sep- 
tember 13, 172C, and approved by the King on September 
18, by which it was agreed that six nuns were to open a 
girls' school in New Orleans, and to attend to the hos- 
pital. The sisters met at Hennebon and recognized as 
superior Mother Marie Tranchepain de Saint- Augustin. 4 
They sailed from Lorient on February 23, 1727, and 
arrived at New Orleans on August 6, after a very long 
and perilous voyage. This voyage has been described 
by Sister Madeleine Hachard, whose impressions of New 
Orleans are of great historic interest. Her letters to her 
father are witty, instructive, and charming. She relates 
how they escaped from pirate ships before reaching 
Santo Domingo, which they left on May 19. They were 
nearly shipwrecked, and finally arrived at the Balize, at 
the mouth of the Mississippi, on July 23. They were well 
received by De Verges, the commandant, and went up 
the river in canoes. They suffered greatly during the 
journey; but, as the gentle sister says, " one is well re- 
warded afterward by the pleasure one finds in relating 

i72i] THE URSULINES 105 

one's little adventures, and one is surprised when one con- 
siders the strength and the courage which God gives in 
these troubles, which proves well that he is never lacking 
to any one, and that he does not permit that we should be 
tempted beyond our strength, giving us graces propor- 
tionate to the trials that happen to us. It is true that 
the ardent desire which we had to arrive at that promised 
land made us endure everything with joy." The nuns 
received as a residence Bienville's former house and dwelt 
there until 1734, when they took possession of the convent 
house built for them on Conde Street, now Chartres. 
This building, the oldest in New Orleans, was for a time 
the State House of Louisiana and the archbishop's palace. 
Sister Madeleine Hachard says a song was publicly 
sung in Xew Orleans, in which it was said that the city 
had as much " appearance " as Paris, and she adds: " In- 
deed, it is very beautiful, but besides that I have not 
enough eloquence to be able to persuade you of the 
beauty which the song mentions, I find a difference be- 
tween this city and that of Paris. It might persuade peo- 
ple who had never seen the capital of France, but I have 
seen it, and the song will not persuade me of the contrary 
of what I believe. It is true that it is increasing every 
day, and later may become as beautiful and as large as 
the principal towns of France, if there still come work- 
men, and it becomes peopled according to its size." She 
speaks of the magnificent dresses of the ladies, and is 
grateful for the kind treatment of the governor and his 
wife and of the principal inhabitants. She mentions the 
mosquitoes and other insects, which she knows only by 


sight, but which fly around her and, she says, would like 
to assassinate her. 

Sister Hachard gives the following description of 
Bienville's house, which was given the nuns on their ar- 
rival in New Orleans: 

Our residence since our arrival here is in the finest house in the 
city; it is a two-story building, with an attic. We have all the 
rooms necessary, six doors to enter the rooms on the lower floor. 
There are everywhere large windows. However, there are no panes 
of glass, but the framework is covered with a thin and transparent 
material, which gives as much light as glass. It is situated at one 
end of the town. We have a poultry yard and a garden, which 
join and are met at both ends by large wild trees, of prodigious 
height and size. 

In her letter dated April 24, 1728, Sister Hachard 
says there are at the convent twenty girls, boarding stu- 
dents, three ladies, three orphan girls, seven slaves, board- 
ers to be prepared for baptism and first communion, and 
a large number of day scholars and negresses and Indian 
women who come two hours every day to receive instruc- 
tion (probably religious). She says it is the custom for 
girls to marry at the age of twelve and fourteen, and that, 
before the arrival of the nuns, many girls had been mar- 
ried without any religious instruction. Now, however, 
none are married without having received instruction 
from the sisters. An important part of the latter's work 
is the care of the sick. 

Sister Hachard mentions several times in her letters, 
and with great praise, the Jesuit Father de Beaubois. It 
was he, as we have seen, who had suggested the Ur- 

1788] THE CAPUCHINS 107 

sulines to Bienville, when the latter was looking for teach- 
ers for the girls in Louisiana. The province had heen 
divided, hy an ordinance dated May 16, 1722, into three 
spiritual jurisdictions. 5 The first, comprising all the 
country from the mouth of the Mississippi to the Wa- 
hash, and west of the Mississippi, was allotted to the Ca- 
puchins, whose superior was to be grand vicar of the 
Bishop of Quebec in that department and was to reside 
in Xew Orleans. The second extended north from the 
Wabash, and belonged to the Jesuits, whose superior, re- 
siding in the Illinois country, was to be also grand vicar 
of the Bishop of Quebec in that department. The third 
comprised all the country east of the Mississippi, from 
the sea to the Wabash, and was given to the Carmelites, 
whose superior was also grand vicar and resided usually 
at Mobile. 

The Capuchins took possession of their district in 1722; 
the Jesuits had been in theirs a long time. The jurisdic- 
tion of the Carmelites was added to that of the Capu- 
chins on December 19, 1722, and the former returned to 
France. In December, 1723, the jurisdiction of the Ca- 
puchins was restricted to the country from Natchez south 
to the sea, on both sides of the river, as the Capu- 
chins were not very numerous. It was, however, decreed 
in 1725 that no monks or priests could attend to churches 
or missions within the jurisdiction of the Capuchins, with- 
out the consent of the latter. It was found a little later 
that the Capuchins could not attend properly to missions, 
on account of their small number and their inaptitude 
for such work. 6 The spiritual care of all the savages 


in the province was therefore given to the Jesuits, and 
their superior was permitted to reside in New Orleans, 
provided he performed no ecclesiastical functions without 
the consent of the Capuchins. Several Jesuits arrived 
in New Orleans with the Ursuline nuns, and Father 
de Beaubois soon became their superior. He pretended 
to have obtained from the Bishop of Quebec the au- 
thority of grand vicar even for New Orleans, and acted 
as such, in spite of the remonstrances of the Capuchin 
superior, Father Raphael. Father de Beaubois was re- 
called, and was succeeded by Father Petit, who was of 
a " very moderate and circumspect disposition." At the 
time of the arrival of the Ursulines in New Orleans, the 
Capuchin Father Cecile is mentioned as a schoolmaster. 
He probably had a school for boys. 

Dumont, in his " Memoires Historiques," gives an in- 
teresting account of the currency in Louisiana. He says 
that when the Western Company took charge of the 
colony hardly any money was seen there, except Spanish 
coin and French silver, with which a few things were 
bought. The goods sold by the Company were not paid 
for in money. " When goods were needed, a list was 
made and presented to one of the directors of the Com- 
pany, who, after deducting what he thought proper, wrote 
on it an order for the storekeeper. The applicant then 
went to the store to receive what was on his statement, 
and that amount was deducted from the total he was 
entitled to receive. In a word, the notes of officers, clerks, 
and employes were then current in the community, and 
passed for money." There was afterward card money, 

17^9] THE CURRENCY 109 

from five sous to fifty livres, and " for the advantage of 
those who could not read, it was made so that hy mere 
inspection one knew what was the value of the card by 
the way it was cut. The value was also marked, and the 
cards bore two signatures, which, however, were often 
forged. Hardly had the card money been invented when 
a small copper coin began to arrive. Vessels were for- 
bidden to refuse card money, but they lost nothing, since, 
on paying into the Company's treasury the amount re- 
ceived in notes, they received bills of exchange on 
France." Private individuals who wished to return to 
France were compelled to exchange their card money for 
Spanish dollars, and lost a good deal. The management 
of the currency, throughout the whole French domination, 
was unwise and vexatious. 

Nevertheless, the colony was prospering under the rule 
of the Company of the Indies: New Orleans was pro- 
tected by a levee in 1729; the crops of rice, tobacco, and 
indigo were satisfactory; the fig-tree from Provence and 
the orange-tree from Santo Domingo had thriven; ne- 
groes had been imported to cultivate the land; and in 
1728 a ship had arrived with young girls who were to 
be married to the colonists. Each girl had received a 
small casket containing some articles of clothing, and 
they were known afterward as les filles a la cassette. 
They were of good character, and were placed under the 
charge of the Ursuline nuns until their marriage. 

It has been said that the Louisianians of French origin 
are descended not only from the " casket girls," but also 
from girls taken from the prisons of Paris and trans- 


ported by force to the colony. That this is incorrect is 
proved by an extract from a letter of an Englishman 
long a resident of Louisiana, dated December 10, 1751 : 7 

You have seen, Sir, by this detail that we have had, and have 
still to-day, in the colony a number of persons of distinction. If 
I had mentioned the other posts and only all those who have occu- 
pied or who still occupy positions with the commission of the King, 
without mentioning several other persons very much esteemed, you 
will see that the greater number were and are still married. Several 
have taken with them their wives and children from France. Their 
children have greatly multiplied, so much so that one may surely 
say that there is no colony, considering its population, more filled 
with honest people. A remarkable thing is, that out of forty-four 
girls who were sent by force from France in 1722 by the Mutme 
(the only ones of that kind who have set foot in the colony) there 
is only one who has left any posterity, although all were married 
and had several children. Of several convicts who were sent in 
the beginning of the colony, I do not know of a single one who 
was established there. It seems that this country has something 
which distinguishes it, as with certain countries where no vile 
creature can leave its kind ; and one may say that all persons are 
of such honest extraction that it would be difficult to marry into 
families with dishonor, in spite of the reviling made of this colony 
in the beginning of its establishment. They wisely prohibited, 
in the beginning, all marriages of whites with the savages, the 
negroes or mulattoes, which has always been exactly observed since, 
so that one may say that the blood in that respect is here as pure 
as in any kingdom in Europe, and very different from several other 
countries and colonies, particularly of the Spaniards, where one 
sees a horrible mixture of all races. 

The prosperity of the colony was rudely interrupted 
in 1729 by the massacre of the French at Fort Rosalie, 
and by the war that followed against the Natchez and the 


Chickasaws. Very full details of these events are given 
by Dumont, who was a lieutenant at Fort Rosalie shortly 
before the massacre; by Le Page du Pratz, who was in 
Louisiana at that time; and by Governor Perier and other 
officers of the colony, in their official despatches. The 
Chickasaws never had been very friendly to the French, 
and the Xatchez seemed restless. Bienville had asked 
for more troops, and Perier repeated the demand when 
he became governor, but without success. The Indians 
were led to attack the French by the greed and injustice 
of Chopart, the commandant at Fort Rosalie. He or- 
dered the Xatchez to abandon one of their finest villages 
in order that he might establish a plantation there. The 
chief succeeded in obtaining, or rather in buying, from 
him a delay, but the Xatchez thought that henceforth their 
safety lay only in destroying the French at Fort Rosalie. 
They formed a plot for that purpose, and although Cho- 
part had received warning, he did nothing to protect the 
French. On Xovember 28, 1729, the savages surprised 
the fort, massacred the commandant and two hundred 
and fifty men, and took prisoners a number of women, 
children, and negro slaves. Only one soldier of the gar- 
rison escaped, and four or five inhabitants, of whom one 
or two succeeded in reaching Xew Orleans. All the wo- 
men were employed as slaves, and the fort and all the 
other buildings of the French were burned. Two men 
only were spared, — one a tailor, and the other a cart- 
driver who was employed to transport to the villages of 
the Indians the booty captured at the fort. 

The Xatchez murdered afterward four men who were 
in a canoe on the river, and killed the child of one of 


the captive Frenchwomen, in order that he might accom- 
pany to the land of spirits the dead child of one of 
the Indians. They also persuaded the Yazoos to massa- 
cre the French who had settled in their country at Fort 
St. Claude. This was done in the beginning of the year 
1730. The Natchez had not succeeded as well with the 
Choctaws as with the Yazoos. They had expected that 
the Choctaws would massacre the French in New Orleans 
on the same day when the Natchez massacred them in 
their own country; but the plot failed, if it ever existed, 
and Dumont says the Choctaws forbade the Natchez to 
put to death any of the captive women and children. 

The news of the massacre reached New Orleans in the 
beginning of December, 1729, and Governor Perier sent 
to the Choctaws the Sieur de Lery, an officer well versed 
in the languages of the savages. The Choctaws promised 
to give the French all the aid in their power, and Perier 
sent against the Natchez the Chevalier de Loubois, 8 the 
King's lieutenant, who went to the country of the Tuni- 
cas and built a fort there to await the coming of the 
Choctaws. After a short time, Loubois called for men 
of good will to reconnoiter in the country of the Natchez. 
Five men presented themselves, but they acted impru- 
dently and were caught by the savages, after one of them, 
Navarre, had been killed fighting and taunting his ene- 
mies. One of the captives was sent with a message to 
Loubois, two were immediately murdered, and the fifth 
man, Mesplet, was tortured most horribly. In February, 
1730, sixteen hundred Choctaws arrived in the Natchez 
country, but after freeing a few women they stayed a 
month at some distance from the fort of the Natchez 


without attacking the latter. Finally, Loubois appeared 
before the fort in March and laid siege to it. In spite 
of a brisk firing, the French were, for a considerable time, 
unsuccessful in their attacks, and the siege seemed only 
to be an occasion for individual acts of heroism, when 
very unexpectedly the Natchez sent a Frenchwoman to 
the commander to sue for peace. The captive women 
and children were delivered to the Choctaws, allies of the 
French, and Loubois was on the point of renewing his 
attack, in spite of the capitulation, when it was found 
that the savages had escaped from the fort in the night, 
not trusting their enemies any more than the latter 
trusted them. Loubois built a new fort in the Natchez 
country, and returned to New Orleans with the unfortu- 
nate captives, who had been freed from the Choctaws 
with great trouble. 

The Natchez retired toward Black River and con- 
tinued their attacks against the French. They murdered 
a detachment of twenty men in the neighborhood of the 
fort at Natchez, tried to surprise the garrison of the fort, 
and attacked the fort at Natchitoches. There, however, 
they had to deal with the valiant St. Denis, who, with a 
reinforcement of forty Natchitoches Indians, completely 
routed the savages and killed sixty of them without los- 
ing a single man. 

At that time the great chief of the Tunicas was killed 
by the Natchez. He had become a Christian, as well as 
his son, and had received a medal from the King of 
France in recompense for his attachment to the French. 
A little before the death of their chief the Tunicas had 
taken a Natchez woman to New Orleans, and had ob- 


tained from Perier permission to burn and torture her 
publicly. The French governor was not a cruel man, 
but we must deplore the fact that through policy he al- 
lowed and even ordered several cruel deeds to be com- 
mitted in the wars against the savages. 

These were troublous times indeed, for not only were 
the French threatened with destruction by the hostile 
Indians, but the negroes formed a plot in New Orleans 
to murder the whites. The plot was discovered, the lead- 
ers were executed, and in order to render the savages for- 
ever hostile to the negroes Perier caused the latter to put 
to death seven or eight Chouachas Indians and to destroy 
their village. The chief aim of the governor, however, 
was to prosecute the war against the Natchez. He re- 
ceived, in August, 1730, some reinforcements from 
France, under his brother, Perier de Salvert, and on No- 
vember 15, 1730, he departed with six hundred and fifty 
soldiers, including the militia, and three hundred and 
fifty Indian auxiliaries for the Black River. In this 
expedition he succeeded in bringing back to New Orleans, 
on February 5, 1731, four hundred and twenty-seven 
captives, including Great Sun and several chiefs. These 
were sent to Santo Domingo by Perier and sold as slaves. 
He had previously, he said, " burned four men and two 
women here." 

The place where the Natchez made their last stand 
against Perier has been definitely ascertained by Clai- 
borne, who gives the following interesting statement of 
Dr. Henry F. Peck, A.B., in his " History of Missis- 
sippi": 9 


Battle-Ground Plantation, Sicily Island, 
Catahoula Parish, La., March 6, 1878. 

The last stand of the Natchez was made here, on the southwest 
end of a small lake, which makes part of the eastern boundary of 
Sicily Island. The bluff, at this point, is some thirty feet above 
the level of the lake, with a deep ravine on the south and west. 
They threw up an intrenchment, which could be traced as late as 
1825. The position is just forty miles from Natchez, across the 
swamp. It is to identify this point as the last great battle-ground 
of the Natchez to wliich you have directed your inquiries. The 
war material found here is conclusive as to its having been the 
scene of a great conflict, in which European soldiers took part. 
Fragments of shells, indicating a diameter of four to six inches, 
were profusely scattered over the field; the outer plates of gun- 
locks, almost destroyed by oxidation ; fragments of pistol-barrels ; 
great numbers of gun-flints of very fine silex; a chain-shot that 
still weighs three pounds eleven ounces; and musket -balls so numer- 
ous that our early hunters obtained their lead on the premises. 
These balls were so encrusted with oxide that when melted each one 
left a white shell like an egg-shell. Many irons resembling mill- 
irons, fragments of crockery and pottery, ordinary Indian arrow- 

The Natchez, now greatly reduced in number, were 
routed by St. Denis at Natchitoches, in the summer of 
1731, as we have already related. What remained of the 
tribe was adopted by the Chickasaws, and the name of 
the Natchez as a nation was lost. Such was the fate of 
these Indians, who have been celebrated in history and 
in romance, and whose name has been given to a beautiful 
town on the broad river where used to glide swiftly the 
pirogues and bark canoes of the dreaded and brave war- 
riors of Great Sun. 


Bienville's Wars with the Chickasaws- 
Vaudreuil, the Grand Marquis— The 
Seven Years' War 

Character of Governor Perier — List of officers from 1725 to 1730— Sur- 
render of the charter of the Company of the Indies — Return of Bienville 
— War with the Chickasaws — Bienville's retreat — Death of young D'Ar- 
taguette— Names of the principal officers — Bienville's narrative — Second 
expedition against the Chickasaws — Failure of the expedition — Celoron 
attacks the Indians— Bienville asks to be relieved— Foundation of the hos- 
pital—Hurricanes in 1740 — Request for the establishment of a college of 
the Jesuits — Brothers of the Christian schools— Bienville's departure from 
the colony — The Marquis de Vaudreuil — Hostilities with the Indians — Or- 
dinances of Vaudreuil and Salmon — Vaudreuil's activity — His police regu- 
lations — Vaudreuil becomes Governor of Canada— Introduction of the 
sugar-cane— The last girls sent at the King's expense — Washington at 
Great Meadows and at Fort Necessity— Bossu's account of the Creoles — 
Bossu's description of New Orleans— Governor Kerlerec — The tragedy at 
Cat Island — Sad fate of Beaudreau — Unwise administration of France and 
of Louisiana— Marigny de MandevLUe— Adventures of Belle-Isle— Defeat 
of the French in America. 

X his last expedition against the Nat- 
chez, Governor Perier appears to 
have acted with duplicity, and to 
have captured the chiefs by an un- 
worthy stratagem. He does not ap- 
pear, however, in his despatches to 
his government, to helieve that he 
has done wrong, and it is but just to quote here what Le 
Page du Pratz says of him : * " M. de Salvert left Lou- 


^~-\v- ^fc 

dfJh^*£«Skb£ $ & 












isiana with the laurels he had gathered there, and re- 
turned to France to receive the applause of the court. 
M. Perier, our Governor, was also recalled some time 
later; he received the reward due his services, the firm- 
ness and the equity with which he had governed; quali- 
ties which caused him to he regretted by all the honest 
people in the colony." 

The following list of the officers in Louisiana 2 from 
1725 to 1730 is interesting: Le Chevalier de Loubois, 
licit tenant tie roij New Orleans; Le Baron de Crenay, 
lieutenant de roi, Mobile; D'Artaguette, major, New 
Orleans; Beauchamp, major, Mobile; Bessan, aide-ma- 
jor, Xew Orleans; St. Denis, commandant, Natchitoches ; 
St. Ange pere, lieutenant reforme, commandant at the 
Illinois; De Vincennes, commandant at Ouabache. 

The captains were: Gauvrit, at the Balize; Pradel, at 
Natchez; Marchand de Courcelles, at Mobile; Renaud 
d'Hauterive, at Mobile; Lusser, at Mobile; Chevalier de 
Noyan, at New Orleans; Chevalier de St. Julien, at New 

The lieutenants were: Montmarquet, at the Aliba- 
mons; Basse, at Mobile; Petit de Levilliers, at New Or- 
leans; Benoist, at Mobile; Maillard, at the Illinois; Gau- 
tren, at the Natchitoches. 

The sous-lieutenants were: Terisse de Tressan, at the 
Illinois; Simare de Belle-Isle, at New Orleans; Regis 
du Roulet, at the Choctaws; Maren de Latour, at New 
Orleans; Marin Dupuy, at New Orleans; Duterpuy Ver- 
chier, at Mobile. 

The enseignes were: Ste. Therese de Langloiserie, at 


New Orleans; St. Ange fils, at the Illinois; Dutisne, at 
the Illinois; Chambellan Graton, at the Choctaws; Ben- 
nille, at Mobile; Grandpre, at New Orleans; Chevalier 
d'Herneuville, at the Natchez. 

The Offtciers reformes (retired) were: DArensbourg, 
captain, at the village of the Germans ; Mondrelois, lieu- 
tenant, at New Orleans; Juzan, lieutenant, at the Tuni- 
cas ; De Labuissonniere, at the Natchez. 

The officers without commission were: Coulanges, at 
the Arkansas; Isel, at the Natchez. 

In the " Historical Collections of Louisiana," by B. 
F. French, Part III, page 179, is a list of the first in- 
habitants of New Orleans. 

The expense occasioned by the Natchez war had been 
so great that the Company of the Indies begged to be 
allowed to surrender its charter, 3 and in 1731 Louisi- 
ana became again a royal province. The colony had 
prospered considerably since 1717, and the population 
had increased from about six hundred whites and twenty 
negroes to five thousand whites and two thousand ne- 
groes. Agriculture was also in a flourishing condition. 
The chief crops were indigo and tobacco ; cotton also was 
cultivated, but on a small scale. Commerce was lan- 
guishing and had to be encouraged in 1732 by a decree 
that exempted from duties all goods sent from France 
to Louisiana and from Louisiana to France. In the 
same year (1732) the Superior Council of the colony 
was reorganized as follows: Perier, governor; Salmon, 
commissaire ordonnateur; Loubois and DArtaguette, 
King's lieutenants; Benac, major of New Orleans; Fa- 


zende, Brule, Bru, Lafreniere, Prat, and Raguet, coun- 
cilors; Fleuriau, attorney-general; Rossart, secretary. 

A little later Bienville was again appointed governor, 
and he arrived in New Orleans in the beginning of 1733. 
The colonists received him with joy; but this distin- 
guished man met with great disasters in his last wars 
with the Indians. Perier does not appear to have shown 
sufficient tact in his dealings with the savages, and he 
treated them, as we have seen, with unnecessary harsh- 
ness. His successor, Bienville, found the important tribe 
of the Chickasaws dissatisfied with the French, and war 
could hardly be avoided. Our chief authorities for these 
events are Dumont's " Memoires Historiques " and Bien- 
ville's despatches. 

After the defeat of the Natchez at Natchitoches by 
St. Denis, the greater part of the remnant of that tribe 
was adopted by the Chickasaws. In 1734 Bienville asked 
for the surrender of the fugitives, but the Chickasaws 
replied that the Natchez formed part of their tribe and 
they could not abandon them. The governor resolved, 
therefore, to compel the Chickasaws to give up the Nat- 
chez, and he prepared actively for war. He sent to the 
Illinois country five boats commanded by Le Blanc. 
One of the boats was loaded with powder, and the others 
with merchandise, and Le Blanc succeeded in reaching 
the Arkansas in safety. He unwisely left the powder 
there, and on his arrival at the Illinois country, he sent 
a boat to get the powder. On the way back the boat was 
captured by the Indians, all the men in it were killed ex- 
cept two, and the powder was lost. Le Blanc transmitted 


to D'Artaguette, the commandant at Fort Chartres, 
Bienville's orders, which were that D'Artaguette should 
collect as large an army as possible and go to the Chick- 
asaw country, 4 where Bienville would meet him by May 
10, 1736. DArtaguette was the younger brother of 
Diron, the commissary, who was then on bad terms with 
the governor. 

Bienville went to Fort Conde at Mobile and met the 
great chief of the Choctaws, whom he induced, by pres- 
ents, to promise the aid of his tribe against the Chick- 
asaws. He returned afterward to Xew Orleans, col- 
lected his troops, and went back to Mobile, from which 
place the expedition was to set out. On April 1, 1736, 
the army left Mobile and went up the Mobile River in 
a small fleet of thirty pirogues and thirty flatboats. On 
April 20, Bienville arrived at a place called Tombecbe, 
and was joined there by the Choctaw auxiliaries. He 
was detained by rains at Tombecbe until May 4, and on 
May 25 reached a place called Tibia, seven leagues from 
the Chickasaw village. The army advanced in good 
order, " the soldiers," says Dumont, " like those of Gid- 
eon, gathering, as they passed by on that prairie, bunches 
of strawberries, which our common mother offered with- 
out cultivation and in abundance to those who would pre- 
sent themselves to gather them." 

The Indians were found in a strongly fortified post, 
over which an English banner floated, and four or five 
Englishmen were seen in the Indian village. The troops 
attacked the fort, but were repelled with heavy loss, as 
they had no material for a siege. On May 27 Bienville 


ordered the army to retreat, and returned to New Or- 
leans, where he heard of the sad fate of D'Artaguette. 5 
The commandant of Fort Chartres had oheyed his chief's 
orders and had marched into the country of the Chicka- 
saws. He arrived there on May 9, and, not being sup- 
ported by the main army of the French, was defeated 
by the Indians and forced to surrender. D'Artaguette, 
Vincennes, Father Senac, a Jesuit missionary, and six- 
teen other men were burned at the stake. The unhappy 
fate of DArtaguette struck the imagination of the col- 
onists, and his name has become connected with a proverb 
in Louisiana. In speaking of something very old, one 
says: "As old as the time of D'Artaguette — vieux 
comme du temps D'Artaguette." Bienville's army, in 
the unfortunate expedition against the Chickasaws, was 
composed of five hundred and forty-four white men, 
forty-five negroes commanded by free negroes, and a 
large number of Choctaws. 

" Among the principal officers," says Bienville, " were 
Messieurs Delery, D'Hauterive, De Lusser, De Cour- 
tillas, Petit, Berthel, De Bombelles, Benac, Le Blanc, 
De Membrede, De Macarty, De St. Pierre, De Velles, 
De Bouille, Des Marets, De Contre-Coeur, Populus de 
St. Protais, Pontalba, Vanderek, Montbrun, Noyau. 
At the head of the Swiss were Du Pare and Volant. 
Montmolin was the standard-bearer. The detachment 
of the planters was commanded by Lesueur and St. 

We quote here extracts from Bienville's account of 
the expedition, dated June 28, 1736.° 


Finally, on May 22, 1736, we were all at the new portage, 
where we landed at a distance of nine leagues from the Chickasaw 
villages. On the 23rd, at day-break, I caused a number of pickets 
to be cut and a small fort to be traced, which was erected imme- 
diately for the defense of our carriages. I drew from the com- 
panies a garrison of twenty men, to remain there under the com- 
mand of the Sieur de Vanderek, with the keeper of the provisions, 
the owners of the boats and a few sick men. I had the time to 
notice, on seeing all the Choctaws together, that they had not come 
in such large number as they had promised, and that they were 
hardly more than six hundred men. I had a great deal of trouble 
to find a certain number who were willing to carry, by paying them, 
sacks of powder and of balls, which the negroes could not carry, 
having already taken other things. On the 24th, after taking pro- 
visions for twelve days, I left the fort in the afternoon, and camped 
in the evening two leagues from that place. The rains, which had 
troubled me so much on the river, did not leave me on land. Hardly 
were we camped when a violent storm broke out, which raged several 
times during the night and made us all fear for our provisions and 
ammunition. We succeeded, however, in preserving them. On 
the 25th we had to pass, in the space of five short leagues, across 
three deep ravines, where we had water up to the waist. As the 
banks were covered with very thick cane, I had sent scouts ahead. 

Bienville wished to attack first the village of the Nat- 
chez, which was a little farther ; hut the Choctaws insisted 
upon attacking the Chickasaws. 

The prairie, continues Bienville, in which these villages were 
situated, was about two leagues in extent. There were three little 
villages establish d in a triangle on the crest of a hill, at the bot- 
tom of which flowed a brook almost dry. The Choctaws came to 
tell me that I would not find any water further, and I ordered to 
defile along the little wood that terminated the prairie, to reach an 
elevation where I ordered a halt to eat. It was then after twelve 


o'clock. However, the Choctaws, who wished, at all hazards, to 
attack these first villages, began a skirmish, as soon as we had 
entered the prairie, to draw upon ns the attack of the enemy. This 
succeeded; so that most of the officers joined the Choctaws to ask 
that those villages be attacked where they did think we would find 
a great resistance. I consented then, and I ordered an attack, at 
two o'clock in the afternoon, by the company of grenadiers, a 
picket of fifteen men from each of the eight French companies, 
sixty Swiss and forty-five men from the volunteers and militia, un- 
der the command of M. de Noyan. 

From the place where we had stopped, at a carbine shot from the 
villages, we perceived Englishmen, who were actively engaged in 
preparing the Chickasaws for our attack. In spite of the irregu- 
larity of this conduct, as on our arrival they had raised in one 
of the three villages an English flag, to be known, I recommended 
M. de Noyan to forbid that they should be insulted, if they wished 
to retire, and, to give them the time, I ordered him to attack at 
first the village opposite the one with the flag. 

However, the detachment began to march and reached the bill, 
protected by mantelets, which, in truth, were not long of use, be- 
cause the negroes who were to carry them as far as a certain place, 
having had one of their number killed and one wounded, threw 
down the mantelets and fled. On entering the village called Ackia, 
the head of the column and the grenadiers, being in the open field, 
suffered severely. The Chevalier de Contre-Coeur was killed, and 
several soldiers were killed or wounded. Yet we took the first three 
strong cabins and several small ones that protected them, but when 
it was necessary to cross from these to others, the Chevalier de 
Xoyan perceived that be had with him only the officers of the van- 
guard, a few grenadiers and a dozen volunteers. The death of 
M. de Lusser, who was killed while crossing, as well as that of the 
sergeant of the grenadiers and of part of his men, had already 
frightened the troops. The soldiers crowded behind the captured 
cabins, without the rear officers being able to dislodge them from 
that place, so that the officers of the van were almost all disabled. 


In one moment, the Chevalier de Noyan, M. d'Hautcrive, captain 
of the grenadiers, and the Sieurs de Velles, Grondel and Montbrun 
were wounded. It was in vain that the Chevalier de Noyan, wish- 
ing to hold his ground, sent the Sieur de Juzan, his aide-major, 
to try to bring back the soldiers. That officer was killed near them, 
and his death only increased their fright. Finally, the wound of 
M. de Noyan having compelled him to retire behind a cabin, he 
sent me his secretary, who had followed him, ordering him to report 
to me the critical situation in which he was, and advising me that, 
if I did not order the retreat, or did not send reinforcements, the 
remainder of the officers would soon share the fate of the first ; that, 
as for him, he did not wish to have himself carried away, from 
fear that the few men remaining would take occasion to flee ; that, 
besides, at least sixtj' or seventy men were killed or wounded. At 
this report, and because I saw the French troops as well as the 
Swiss falling back, and also because we had just been threatened 
with an attack from the side of the large prairie where were most 
of the villages of the nation, and because we were all under arms, 
I sent M. de Beauchamp with eighty men to conduct the retreat 
and to carry off the dead and wounded. This was not done without 
losing more men. The Sieur Favrot was wounded there. When 
M. de Beauchamp arrived at the place of the attack he found there 
almost no soldiers. The officers, assembled together and abandoned, 
were holding their ground. That is to say, they were at the cabin 
nearest the fort. M. de Beauchamp caused them to retire, and re- 
turned to the camp in good order, the enemy not having dared to 
come out to charge him. It is true that the Choctaws, who thus 
far had remained protected on the hill-side, waiting for the event, 
rose then and fired several times. They had on this occasion 
twenty-two men killed or wounded. This in the end contributed 
not a little to disgust them. 

Bienville says he had to retire because he had neither 
cannon nor mortars. He lost eight or nine officers and 
one hundred and twenty French soldiers. 


Bienville was very anxious to avenge D'Artaguette 
and to regain his military renown. But he did not be- 
lieve that he had sufficient troops to conquer the Chicka- 
saws, and he applied to France for reinforcements. The 
Chevalier de Beauharnais, Governor of Canada, was or- 
dered to send troops to assist Bienville, and a body of 
marines arrived from France, commanded by the Cheva- 
lier Louis d'Ayme de Noailles. The army was conveyed 
by the Mississippi River, called at that time St. Louis, 
to Fort St. Francis on the St. Francis River, and 
thence to the river Margot, now Wolf River. A work 
called Fort Assumption was built near the present city 
of Memphis, and large reinforcements were received 
under the Sieur de la Buissonniere, successor to the un- 
fortunate DArtaguette at Fort Chartres, and under 
Captain de Celoron and Lieutenant de St. Laurent, 
" followed," says Dumont, " by thirty cadets sent by the 
Governor of Canada, with a great number of Indians 
from Canada." 

The army of Bienville, according to Judge Martin, 
numbered about twelve hundred white troops, and double 
that number of Indians and black troops. For some un- 
accountable reason, the troops remained at Fort Assump- 
tion, at some distance from the Indians, from August, 
1739, to March, 174.0, without attacking the enemy. In 
a despatch to the minister, 7 Bienville says he could find, 
for some time, no suitable road to march against 
the Chickasaws, and, his provisions having failed, he 
called a council of war, composed of his principal officers, 
which decided that, as it was impossible to bring forward 


the artillery necessary to the success of the expedition, 
" it was not advisable to risk the glory of the arms of the 
King on the chance of a doubtful success." 

Dumont says that not only the provisions failed, 
but sickness broke out in the camp, especially among the 
soldiers recently arrived from France, and Bienville re- 
solved, instead of conquering the Chickasaws, to grant 
them peace if they asked for it. He accordingly sent 
Celoron with his Canadian cadets and his Indian allies 
to advance against the Chickasaws. 8 The latter, believ- 
ing that the whole army of Bienville was marching to 
attack them, begged for peace, and presented the calumet 
to Celoron. This commander promised peace, and Bien- 
ville ratified the treaty in April, 1740. He gave presents 
to his Indian allies and dismissed them. The army now 
returned to New Orleans, after destroying Forts As- 
sumption and St. Francis. The Chickasaws were never 
vanquished, and they and the Natchez fugitives contin- 
ued to commit depredations at times. There was, how- 
ever, no open war with them after Bienville's unsuc- 
cessful expedition. Gayarre attributes Bienville's last 
failure to a feeling of jealousy toward the Chevalier 
d'Ayme de Noailles, who had been sent from France to 
cooperate with him against the savages. But this opin- 
ion does not do justice to Bienville's well-known patriot- 
ism. He was so mortified and grieved at his failure 
that he expressed the desire of returning to France as 
soon as his duties would permit. 

The following letter of Bienville to the French min- 
ister, dated June 18, 1740, 9 is pathetic and interesting: 



The labors, the anxiety and the trouble of mind which I have 
had to bear for the last eight years, during which it has pleased 
your Highness to maintain me in this government, have weakened 
my health to such an extent that I should not have hesitated to sup- 
plicate for leave of absence to go to France by the first vessel of the 
King, if the interest of the colony and that of my reputation did 
not require that I should put the finishing touches to the treaty 
of peace which I have begun with the Chickasaws and of which I 
do not believe that we should hasten the conclusion, in order to leave 
to the Choctaws the time of avenging upon the Chickasaws and 
their protectors the insult which they have received from them. 
That remnant of war can only weaken the Chickasaws the more, 
and disgust the English with the commerce with our tribes. This 
is the aim which I propose to myself, and which I hope to reach. 
After I have thus reestablished peace and tranquillity in the col- 
ony, I desire to be allowed to make a journey to France to restore 
my exhausted health. I beg, then, your Highness to be so kind as 
to ask the permission of the King for me. I do not expect to be able 
to take advantage of it before the return of the vessel of 1742, and 
in case France does not take part in the war that has broken out 
in Europe. 

In the same letter Bienville announces that the Sieur 
de Noyan, his nephew, is leaving for France at his 
own expense and with the help of his friends, as his 
expenses in his last campaigns have been far in excess of 
his pay. 

During Bienville's last administration he and Salmon 
wrote to the minister on May 20, 1737, that a former 
sailor of the Company of the Indies, named Jean Louis, 
who died in 1736, being unmarried and without children, 
had left by a holographic will, to found a hospital, all 
his property, which, all debts paid, consisted of ten thou- 


sand livres cash. In accord with the curate and the tes- 
tamentary executor, Bienville and Salmon bought the 
house of Mme. de Kolly, at the extremity of the city, 
occupied formerly by the nuns. Then they bought beds 
and other things needed for a hospital. After this ex- 
penditure there remained five thousand livres, which, 
with the help of the inhabitants, were to be employed in 
building a large brick hall. The hospital was a great 
relief to the King's hospital for the soldiers, where often 
poor persons were received who otherwise would have 
died in misery. In 1737 there were five patients at the 
hospital. Jean Louis's humble but noble institution was 
the beginning of the present splendid Charity Hospital. 
In 1738 Dr. Prat, physician of the King's hospital, asked 
for means to establish a garden of medicinal plants and 
a house for his residence. 10 He requested that he have 
a salary of two thousand livres, because the inhabitants 
were accustomed to be treated for nothing by the physi- 
cian, and the latter had no resource but the favor 
of the King. The expenses for the military hospital 
in 1741 were 18,270 livres, and for the church 17,104 

On September 11 and 18, 1740, there were two terrific 
hurricanes, which spared New Orleans but did great 
damage at the Balize, at Biloxi, and at Mobile, and 
caused almost a famine by the destruction of provisions 
and of crops. Bienville attended with great care to the 
needs of the colony in the last months of his administra- 
tion, and he and Salmon made on June 15, 1742, the fol- 
lowing request, which was not granted: 


For a long time the inhabitants of Louisiana have been making 
representations on the necessity of establishing there a college for 
the education of their children. Touched, on their side, by the 
advantages of such an establishment, they proposed to the Jesuits 
to provide it ; but these religious excused themselves for want of 
lodging and teachers. It should, however, be essential that there 
be one for the humanities only, geometry, geography, pilotage, 
etc. The children would learn, besides, their religion, which 
is the basis of morals. The parents see but too well how young 
men brought up in luxury and idleness are of little use, and how 
much it costs those of the inhabitants who are in a condition to send 
their children to be educated. We may even fear that most of the 
hitter young men, not caring any more for their country, will re- 
turn there only to take possession of the estates that their parents 
have left them. Another motive that engages them to make repre- 
sentations is, that several of the most important persons of Vera 
Cruz would like to be able to send their children to Louisiana to 
learn the French language and manners. There are some who 
have written on that subject to the Jesuit Fathers, and two children 
had been sent to them, without waiting for their reply. Several 
ethers would have come if there had been lodgings and teachers for 
them. The Jesuits would have determined not to receive any at 
all if they had not considered that the bonds of commerce which 
that might bring about with Vera Cruz and other cities of Mexico 
would contribute considerably to the advantage of the country. 
These religious have written to their superiors to receive the orders 
of Monseigneur [the minister] on that subject. 

On April 30, and June 16, 1742, Salmon proposed also 
to send into the colony two brothers of the Christian 
schools for the instruction of the children, and he said 
that a brother named Malo, who had been here for some 
years, had assured him that there would be found brothers 
who would not ask anything better than to accept, if they 


were given three hundred livres salary for each one. 
The brother has written to the order on that subject, and 
he has also promised to share with those who might be 
sent the little property that he has in the colony, which 
may amount to three thousand livres. Salmon adds that 
this establishment is so much the more necessary as there 
are only soldiers who know nothing to give the first les- 
sons to children. Those teachers, who will be an expense 
of only six hundred livres a year, will be lodged without 
its costing the King anything, on a lot that has been con- 
ceded to a merchant who engages to build the necessary 
house for the school. On the other hand, supposing that 
the establishment of the college should take place, one 
should not dispense with the other one proposed. In 
fact, not only must the children have some instruction in 
reading before going to the college of the Jesuits, but 
the house of the latter is too far from the city for the 
little children. Besides, each one, according to his cir- 
cumstances, gives more or less education to his children. 
Finally, with regard to the college, the expense will not 
be great, and Salmon believes that the Jesuits would be 
satisfied with an increase of board for two teachers whom 
they would take to Louisiana, and with some tons of 
freight to bring from France the provisions that they 
might need for the boarders. 

In May, 1743, Bienville left Louisiana forever; he 
had devoted many years to the establishment of the col- 
ony. We shall see him once more in Paris, endeavoring 
in vain, in his old age, to prevent the transfer of his 
cherished Louisiana to the rule of Spain. His successor 

i743j VAUDREUIL 131 

was the Marquis de Vaudreuil, who arrived in Louisiana 
on May 10, 1743. He is known in the history of Loui- 
siana as the Grand Marquis, on account of his elegant 
manners and magnificent entertainments. 

Vaudreuil refused to make peace with the Chickasaws 
unless the Choctaws were included in the treaty, and he 
endeavored to keep up the enmity that existed between 
the two great Indian tribes. Red Shoe ( Soulier Rouge) , 
a Choctaw chief, gave the governor great trouble by his 
restlessness and duplicity. He was one day with the 
English, the next day with the French, and was ever 
ready to receive money or provisions from either party. 
He was the cause of a civil war among the Choctaws, 
and finally was killed by the party friendly to the French. 
The different Indian tribes harassed the colonies consid- 
erably during Vaudreuil's administration, and among 
the persons killed by the savages in 1748 was the unfor- 
tunate dancing-master Baby. He was going along on 
a poor horse, and armed only with a hunting-knife, when 
he met the savages. He defended himself bravely and 
took refuge in a neighboring house, where he was shot 
to death. The fate of poor Baby must have caused great 
sorrow to the ladies of New Orleans. Where did they 
find another master to teach them the minuet and the 
stately bows with which they were to salute the governor 
and his wife? The manners in Louisiana were as courtly 
as at Versailles, and the art of dancing was indispensable 
in polite society in the eighteenth century. 

On October 18, 1743, an ordinance was issued by Vau- 
dreuil and Salmon which compelled the planters to build 


their levees before January 1, 1744, under penalty of 
confiscation of their lands. The governor and his com- 
missary gave also much attention to the question of the 
currency in the colony; but the vexed question of card 
or paper money and of notes was not settled then or at 
any other time during the French domination in Loui- 
siana. Vaudreuil was a wise administrator, but he cer- 
tainly made a mistake when he granted to the Sieur 
Deruisseau the exclusive privilege of trading on the 
Missouri and its tributaries. 

In 1741 the great War of the Austrian Succession 
broke out in Europe, and Maria Theresa, aided by Eng- 
land, had to resist the attacks of France and Prussia. 
Vaudreuil, on hearing of the declaration of war, prepared 
to resist any invasion of the British and displayed great 
activity and prudence. Unfortunately, like nearly all 
his predecessors, he quarreled with his intendant or 
commissaire ordonnateur, Lenormant, who was soon re- 
placed by Michel de la Rouvilliere. The latter and the 
governor issued interesting police regulations with re- 
gard to the negroes, and to coffee-houses, of which six 
were allowed in New Orleans. It was forbidden to give 
drink to any soldier or to negroes and savages, and to 
any one on feast days and on Sundays during divine 

The good understanding between Vaudreuil and La 
Rouvilliere did not last long, and the commissary wrote 
very disparaging letters about his chief. This does not 
seem to have injured the governor with the French gov- 
ernment. He belonged to an influential family, and he 

1751] THE SUGAR-CANE 133 

obtained a large increase in the number of soldiers to 
serve in Louisiana. He undertook an expedition against 
the Chickasaws in 1752, but accomplished little besides 
burning and devastating their country. The Marquis, 
however, remained in high favor at court, and was pro- 
moted in 1752 to the governorship of Canada, where he 
displayed great ability and courage in the French wars 
with the English. 

In 1751, during Vaudreuil's administration, the sugar- 
cane was introduced in Louisiana. A vessel carrying 
soldiers to the colony stopped at Hispaniola, and the Je- 
suits on that island asked to be allowed to send to the 
Jesuits in Louisiana a quantity of cane, to see whether 
it could be cultivated on the banks of the Mississippi. 
The Jesuit Fathers planted the cane on their plantation, 
which was then just above the city, and to their spirit of 
enterprise and their enlightened policy we owe one of the 
greatest benefits ever rendered Louisiana, the introduc- 
tion of the sugar-cane. Joseph Dubreuil, in 1758, estab- 
lished a large sugar plantation, and he erected the first 
sugar-mill in Louisiana. Others followed his example, 
but the sugar was of inferior quality, for want of a 
knowledge of the granulating process. Destrehan, Du- 
breuil, and others, before 1765, had made sugar that an- 
swered the purposes of home consumption, but in that 
year a ship-load was sent to France. The granulating 
process had been so imperfect that half of the sugar es- 
caped from the casks before the vessel reached port. 

The Jesuits were also cultivating on their land indigo 
and the myrtle-wax shrub, which, for a time, was con- 


sidered very valuable. It produced a wax that was ex- 
tensively used for making candles. 

The ships that brought the sugar-cane brought also 
sixty poor girls who were sent at the King's expense. 11 
They were the last that the mother country supplied, and 
were given in marriage to soldiers whose good conduct 
entitled them to a discharge. Land was allotted to each 
couple, with a cow and a calf, a cock and five hens, a gun, 
an ax, and a hoe; and during the first three years ra- 
tions were issued to them, with a small quantity of pow- 
der, shot, and grain for seed. 

In 1752 Macarty took command of Fort Chartres of 
the Illinois, which district comprised six villages: Kas- 
kaskia, Fort Chartres, Caokias, Prairie des Rochers, St. 
Philip, and Ste. Genevieve. In 1754 Colonel Washing- 
ton surprised the French under Jumonville near the 
Great Meadows, and the latter was killed. 12 His brother, 
Louis Coulon de Villiers, was sent by Contre-Coeur, com- 
mandant at Fort Duquesne, to avenge Jumonville's 
death. De Villiers attacked Washington at Fort Neces- 
sity, and forced him to capitulate on July 4, 1754. 

Bossu, a French officer stationed in Louisiana, wrote 
from New Orleans on July 1, 1751, that Governor Vau- 
dreuil received very hospitably the troops that had come 
from France. He spoke of the inhabitants of Louisiana, 
and said: 13 

One calls Creoles those who are born of a Frenchman and a 
Frenchwoman or of a European woman. The Creoles, in general, 
are very brave, tall and well made ; they have many talents for the 
arts and the sciences ; but as they cannot cultivate them perfectly 

w«] KERLEREC 135 

on account of the scarcity of good teachers, the rich and sensible 
fathers do not fail to send their children to France, as to the 
first school in the world in all tilings. As to the sex that has no 
other duty to perform but that of pleasing, it is born here with that 
advantage and has no need to go to seek the deceitful art in 

Speaking of New Orleans, Bossu said: 

That town is situated on the banks of the Mississippi, one of the 
largest rivers in the world, since it waters more than eight hun- 
dred leagues of known country. Its pure and delicious waters 
flow for forty leagues in the midst of a number of plantations 
which form a charming sight on its two banks, where one enjoys 
abundantly the pleasures of hunting, fishing, and all the other 
delights of life. 

Bossu regrets very much the departure of the Marquis 
de Vaudreuil, and mentions in no flattering terms the 
latter's successor, Kerlerec, 14 who arrived in New Or- 
leans on February 3, 1753, saying: "He has qualities 
of heart very different from those of his predecessor ; but 
this new governor may give as an excuse that he did not 
come so far only for a change of air." Kerlerec, however, 
was a brave captain in the royal navy, and had distin- 
guished himself in several engagements. He agreed ad- 
mirably, strange to say, with the commissary d'Auber- 
ville. Some time after his arrival in the colony occurred 
a tragic event, which Bossu relates with great indig- 

Not far from Ship Island, where Iberville landed in 
February, 1699, is Cat Island. In 1757, says Bossu, Gov- 


ernor Kerlerec appointed the Sieur Duroux as comman- 
dant on that island, and gave him a detachment of 
marines and of the Swiss regiment of Halwyl. Du- 
roux acted in a most arbitrary and cruel manner: he 
compelled the soldiers to cultivate his garden and to 
do all kinds of work for him, and punished those who 
refused to submit to him by tying them naked to a 
tree, exposed to the mosquitoes. He gave the garrison 
bread made of flour that had been taken from the wreck 
of a Spanish ship, and sold for his own profit the flour 
sent by the government. The soldiers complained to 
Kerlerec, but the governor refused to listen to them. 
They resolved, therefore, to take justice into their own 
hands, and one day, when Duroux was returning from 
a hunting expedition, he was shot by the men on shore, 
as soon as he landed, and his body was thrown into 
the sea. The soldiers then liberated a planter named 
Beaudreau, 1 r> whom Duroux had put in irons for re- 
fusing to share with him some goods that had been saved 
from the wreck of a Spanish ship. The revolted sol- 
diers pillaged the stores on Ship Island, and compelled 
Beaudreau to show them the route leading to the Caro- 
linas. When they arrived in the country of an Indian 
chief called by the French the Emperor of the Kaouytas, 
they dismissed Beaudreau and gave him a certificate, 
which proved that they had forced him to serve as guide. 
Part of the soldiers went to the English colonies, but 
those who remained with the savages were soon captured. 
A Swiss corporal committed suicide to avoid the horrible 
torture that he knew awaited him, and the other crim- 


inals were taken to Mobile. In the mean time the two 
sons of Beaudreau arrived from New Orleans at Mobile, 
bearers, without their knowledge, of an order to the 
commandant De Velle to arrest Beaudreau, who was 
then on his plantation and not suspecting that he would 
be troubled for the involuntary part he had taken in the 
tragedy at Cat Island. The accused were taken to New 
Orleans and judged by a court martial. Beaudreau and 
one soldier were condemned to be broken on the wheel 
and their bodies thrown into the river, and a Swiss soldier 
was condemned to be placed in a coffin and be sawed alive 
through the middle of the body, according to the custom 
of the Swiss regiment. 

We regret that such a cruel execution should have 
taken place in New Orleans in 1758, but we should hardly 
expect to find there a more humane administration of 
justice than in Europe, where criminals were tortured in 
a horrible manner, as is proved by the execution of Da- 
miens, the would-be murderer of Louis XV. It is im- 
possible to excuse the execution of Beaudreau, who was 
innocent and was highly esteemed in the colony. He 
had great influence with the Indians, and had been 
adopted by the Choctaws as a member of their tribe. 

In 1756 the Seven Years' War began in Europe, but 
hostilities had already begun in America between the 
French and the English. The latter threatened Louisi- 
ana continually, and Kerlerec had great trouble in keep- 
ing the powerful tribes of the Choctaws and the Aliba- 
mons faithful to the French. The friendship of the 
Indians had really to be bought continually with presents 


which, said Kerlerec, were cheaper than would be the 
expenses of war. He reported that in 1758 the Choctaws 
had fifty-two villages and four thousand warriors, and 
the Alibamons three thousand warriors. Yet, in spite of 
the menacing attitude of the English, the number of 
troops in Louisiana was greatly diminished in 1759 by 
order of the French government. Little attention was 
paid to the colonies by the wretched King Louis XV, 
who was disgracing France by his dissolute life and by 
his weak and incompetent administration. Help was 
even asked of Spain for Louisiana in 1761, as it was said 
that the province served as a barrier between the English 
and the Spanish colonies. Louisiana was as badly gov- 
erned as France, and discord reigned during Kerlerec's 
administration. First there was a so-called religious war 
between the Capuchins and the Jesuits, represented re- 
spectively by Father Dagobert and Father Beaudoin; 
then there were violent dissensions between the governor 
and the commissary Rochemore, and the colony not only 
made no progress but seemed to be retrograding. The 
unsuccessful wars of Louis XV hardly allowed any help 
to be given to Louisiana, and the unwise financial policy 
of the government caused great distress by the instability 
of the currency. In June, 1761, Rochemore was replaced 
by Foucault, who soon began the game of duplicity that 
nearly cost him his life a few years later. He appeared 
to be on good terms with Kerlerec, and yet his reports 
to the French minister were very damaging to the gov- 

Among the officers who sided with Rochemore against 


Kerlerec were some of the most distinguished men in 
Louisiana, such as Grondel, D'Hauterive, D'Herneu- 
ville, Belle-Isle, and Marigny de Mandeville. The last- 
named, says Bossu, formed the plan of making new dis- 
coveries in the direction of Barataria Island, and made 
a general map of the colony. Simarre de Belle-Isle had 
had a most romantic career. In 1719, while on board 
a vessel bound for Louisiana, he went ashore in St. Ber- 
nard Bay with four friends in a boat that had been sent 
to get drinking-water. Having gone hunting, Belle- 
Isle and his friends were abandoned by the French vessel, 
and after a few days Belle-Isle alone survived. He wan- 
dered about, and finally gave himself up to the Attakapas 
Indians, who were cannibals. He was saved by a widow 
who took him for her slave, and after some time he was 
adopted as a warrior by the tribe. He was rescued by 
St. Denis, commandant at Natchitoches, who had heard 
through some Indians of the presence of a white man 
among the Attakapas. Bienville, Avho was then gov- 
ernor, received Belle-Isle very kindly, and the former 
Indian brave soon became again a trusted French officer. 
The war between the English and the French in Amer- 
ica ended by the defeat of the latter, in spite of a heroic 
resistance. In 1758 Fort Duquesne was captured, and 
in a despatch from Macarty, commandant at Fort Char- 
tres, Aubry, De Villiers, and De Verges were mentioned 
for their bravery. The garrison of Fort Duquesne went 
to New Orleans, and Kerlerec had barracks erected for 
them in the lower part of the town. Some of the inhabi- 
tants left the country invaded by the English, and set- 



tied in Louisiana. In 1754 several families from Lor- 
raine had arrived in the colony and had been sent as 
settlers to the German Coast, a few miles above New Or- 
leans, on the Mississippi River. 

The Seven Years' War ended disastrously for France 
in Europe, Canada, and India, and the French King 
lost all his colonies in America, and nearly all in India. 
Louis XY, in his selfishness, cared not for the fate of the 
people who had struggled valiantly to remain French- 
men. He gave little help to Canada, and the loss of that 
province induced him to get rid of Louisiana, which had 
been a source of expense to the mother country. The 
corrupt monarch who reigned at Versailles did not un- 
derstand the attachment of the Louisianians for France, 
and gave their country to Spain without consulting them. 



The Cession of Louisiana to Spain— The 
Revolution of 1768 

Choiseul— The treaty of Fontainebleau in 1763— The treaty of Paris in 
1763— Names of officials and officers in 1763— Damaging report against 
Kerlerec— Expulsion of the Jesuits— West Florida— The Indians regret the 
French— Transfer of Mobile to the British— The Indians leave the British 
— Little Manchac— First arrival of the Acadians— Establishment of a print- 
ing-press—Letter of Louis XV announcing the cession to Spain— Charles 
III of Spain— Nyon de Villiers abandons Fort Chartres— Death of D' Abba- 
die — Aubry — Discontent of the colonists — Arrivals of Acadians— Sketch 
of the expulsion of the Acadians by the British— Names of officers at end of 
French domination— Don Antonio de Ulloa — UUoa's unwise ordinance of 
September 6, 1766— Petition of the merchants of New Orleans — Ulloa's 
haughtiness and lack of tact— Intense cold in 1769— Aubry's position— The 
Revolution of 1768 — The Council adopts Lafreniere's conclusions— Fou- 
cault's opinion — Aubry's protest — Ulloa's departure— Delegates sent to 
France— Letters to Praslin and to the King — Address of the Council— In- 
vestigation about "vexations" committed by Ulloa— Letter of the inhabi- 
tants to Praslin — Ulloa's council— Life and works of Ulloa— Baudry des 
Loziere's opinion of Lafreniere — Lafreniere's chief associates— Noble sen- 
timents of the Louisianians — Expulsion of the Spanish frigate. 

N July 4, 1754, when Washington 
capitulated at Fort Necessity, the 
French remained sole masters of the 
entire Mississippi valley and of 
Canada; but in September, 1759, 
the heroic commanders Montcalm 
and Wolfe fell at Quebec, which 
was captured by the British, and on September 8, 1760, 



by the capitulation at Montreal, Canada ceased to be a 
French province. A few months later, while the Duke de 
Choiseul ! was endeavoring to bring about peace between 
France and England, he said to Stanley, according to 
Bancroft, " I wonder that your great Pitt should be so at- 
tached to the acquisition of Canada. The inferiority of its 
population will never suffer it to be dangerous, and, being 
in the hands of France, it will always be of service to 
you to keep your colonies in that dependence which they 
will not fail to shake off the moment Canada shall be 
ceded "; and Bancroft adds, " And he readily consented 
to abandon that province to England." 2 Choiseul was 
a wise minister, but he had not been able to repair the 
harm done by the corrupt, incompetent, and tortuous pol- 
icy of Louis XV, who alone should be held responsible 
for the disasters of his reign. On August 15, 1761, 
Choiseul concluded the " Family Compact," which was 
designed to unite all the branches of the house of Bour- 
bon as a counterpoise to the maritime ascendancy of Eng- 
land. Spain promised to declare war against England 
on May 1, 1762, if peace was not concluded. The great 
William Pitt continued the war, but, owing to the hostil- 
ity of George III, he resigned his office. The success of 
the English continued, however, and Martinique and 
other West India islands, Havana, and Manila were cap- 
tured. Finally, preliminaries of peace were signed on 
November 3, 1762, between France and Spain on the 
one side, and England and Portugal on the other. On 
the same day, by an act passed at Fontainebleau and 
signed by Choiseul for France and by Grimaldi for 


Spain, Louis XV, " by the pure effect of the generosity 
of his heart, and on account of the affection and friend- 
ship " which he felt for his cousin, Charles III of Spain, 
made to the latter a gift of " the country known by the 
name of Louisiana, as well as New Orleans and the isl- 
and in which that city is situated." s The King of Spain 
accepted the gift on November 13, 1762. The King of 
France had been touched by the sacrifices made by his 
Catholic Majesty to bring about peace and " was de- 
sirous to give to him a proof of the great interest he took 
in his satisfaction and in the advantages of his crown." 
It is a pity that Choiseul should have signed such a dis- 
graceful state paper. Bancroft says of him: " It was 
the judgment of Pitt, that he was the greatest minister 
France had seen since the days of Richelieu. In depth, 
refinement, and quipk perception, he had no superior; 
and his freedom from prejudice opened his mind and 
affections to the philosophic movement of the age." It 
was Choiseul who acquired from Genoa, in 1768, the 
island of Corsica, where Napoleon Bonaparte was born 
on August 15, 1769. When Madame Du Barry caused 
the fall of Choiseul in 1770, the doom of the monarchy 
Avas sealed, and Louis XV could truly say, " After me 
the deluge." 

The treaty of Fontainebleau was kept secret; and on 
February 10, 1763, the shameful treaty of Paris was 
signed. France ceded to Great Britain, by article seven, 
the river and port of Mobile and all the possessions on 
the left bank of the Mississippi, with the exception of the 
town of New Orleans and the island in which it is situ- 


ated. Spain, in its turn, ceded to Great Britain the 
province of Florida, with the fort of St. Augustine, and 
all the country to the east and southeast of the Missis- 
sippi. Havana was returned to Spain, and Guadeloupe 
and Martinique to France. 

The King of France continued to act as the possessor 
of Louisiana, since the treaty of Fontainebleau of No- 
vember 3, 1762, was still kept secret. On January 1, 
1763, Nicolas Chauvin de Lafreniere was named at- 
torney-general; on February 10, 1763, Foucault was 
named controller; and on March 16 the King announced 
that, as he had decided to reorganize the troops serving 
in his province of Louisiana, and to keep at New Orleans 
only a counting-house, with four companies of infantry 
merely for protection and police duty, he had established 
there a director and commandant. 4 DAbbadie was ap- 
pointed to that office and arrived in New Orleans on June 
29, 1763. Aubry was named commandant of the four 
companies of infantry. The captains were De Maze- 
lieres, Du Plessis de la Perriere, De Vaugine ; the lieuten- 
ants, De l'Hommer, Laforest de Laumont, De Belle- 
Isle, Cabaret de Trepis; the ensigns, La Grancpurt, De 
Yin, Vaucourt de St. Amant, Dubralet; majors at New 
Orleans, De Grandmaison, Regnier; captain of the port, 
Faures; surveyor, De Lalande. 

During Kerlerec's administration there had been great 
discord in the colony, between the Capuchins and the 
Jesuits, and between the governor and the royal com- 
missary, Rochemore. The latter brought charges against 
Kerlerec ; an investigation was ordered, and the following 


damaging report against the governor was made: " It 
follows from the papers submitted to our inspection, 1st, 
that Rochemore has kept himself within the limits of 
his office, while Kerlerec has always abused his powers. 
2d, that Kerlerec has not only violated the ordinances 
by receiving interloping vessels, without being compelled 
by necessity, since at that time the colony was not in 
want, but that he has committed a great imprudence, 
knowing that those interlopers were spies; that, besides, 
it is probable that interest has guided him in these circum- 
stances, his secretary and himself having relations with 
Jamaica, whence came most of the interlopers. Another 
fact is, that the interlopers, according to a law established 
by M. de Kerlerec, were to land at New Orleans, and 
nowhere else in the colony; otherwise, they were not 
admitted, whatever were the needs of the colony; that, 
besides, Kerlerec, according to the allegation of Roche- 
more, has received ten thousand livres from an inter- 
loper to assure himself that he would return to bring 
what he (Kerlerec) needed; but that, on his return, 
the said interloper has not been able, by order of Ker- 
lerec, to go up the river to New Orleans, or to get back 
his money." B 

On the arrival of D'Abbadie, Kerlerec departed for 
France, where he was thrown into the Bastille. He was 
liberated some time afterward and died in 1770. He 
had rendered great services in the French navy before 
he became governor of Louisiana. In spite of the report 
against him, it is not now believed that he was dishonest. 
The probability is, that, at the time of the governor's 


downfall, Rochemore was more powerful at court than 

M. de Vergennes, minister of Louis XVI, wrote for 
that King a paper on Louisiana, in which he gives a 
rapid description of the country and a brief history of 
the colony, from its settlement by Iberville to the trans- 
fer to Spain. He calls attention to the numerous faults 
committed in the administration of Louisiana, and to the 
injustice so often done to the Indians. He ends his paper 
by these noble and energetic words: " On the conclusion 
of the treaty of Versailles, one should have remembered 
that when Camillus was named dictator, his first act of 
authority was to break the treaty that was about to be 
concluded with the Gauls; he did not calculate the des- 
perate state in which the republic was, but he wished to 
prevent its dishonor." 

The Jesuits were driven from Louisiana in 1763, and 
their property, which was confiscated, was sold for about 
nine hundred thousand livres. They returned in 1835 
and established flourishing schools. 

The province of West Florida was erected from that 
part of Louisiana ceded by Spain to Great Britain, 
together with Pensacola, and Captain George Johnston 
was appointed governor. Major Loftus was appointed 
commandant at the Illinois, and arrived at Pensacola 
with Captain Johnston. The former endeavored to pro- 
ceed to his post by boat from New Orleans ; but his party 
was fired upon by the Indians, and he was obliged to 
return to New Orleans, whence he sailed to Pensacola. 
The Indians regretted very much the domination of the 


French, ami when the latter, as they abandoned Canada, 
sailed down the valley of the Mississippi, " they received 
on every side," says Bancroft, " the expressions of pas- 
sionate attachment from the many tribes of red men." 

Fort Conde, at Mobile, received the name of Fort 
Charlotte, for the wife of George III, and on October 
20, 1763, Mobile and that part of Louisiana ceded by 
France to Great Britain were transferred to Robert 
Farmar, British commissioner, by De Velle, comman- 
dant, and Fazende, acting commissaire ordonnateur. On 
November 23, Fort Tombecbe was delivered also to the 

Some of the Indians left the country ceded to the 
English, and settled among the French. D'Abbadie 
allowed the Tensas and the Alibamons to establish them- 
selves on the Mississippi near Bayou Lafourche. The 
English, on their way up the river to Bayou Manchac 
and Baton Rouge, stopped a little above New Orleans, 
and an illegal traffic with them was overlooked on account 
of its great advantage to the inhabitants. " The spot," 
says Martin, " at which they stopped on their way up the 
river, under the pretense of going to Bayou Manchac 
and Baton Rouge, received the appellation of Little 

On April 6, 1764, D'Abbadie announced the arrival in 
New Orleans of four Acadian families, twenty persons. 
They had come from New York. 

In 1764 D'Abbadie obtained for the Sieur Braud the 
exclusive privilege of establishing a printing-press and 
selling books in the colony. Braud's press was to be of 


great value to the colonists in their heroic struggle in 
1768 against Spanish oppression. 

In Octoher, 1764, Director-General dAbbadie re- 
ceived an official communication announcing the cession 
to Spain and ordering the transfer of the province to 
the Spanish officials. The letter is of such importance 
that we translate it in full from the original: 

At Versailles, April 21, 1764. 

M. d'Abbadie, by a private act passed at Fontainebleau, on 
November 3, 1762, having ceded, of my free will, to my very 
dear and beloved cousin, the King of Spain, and to his successors 
and heirs, in full ownership, purely and simply, and without 
any exception, all the county known by the name of Louisiana, 
as well as New Orleans and the island in which it is situated; 
and by another act passed at the Escurial, signed by the King 
of Spain, on November 13 of the same year, His Catholic Ma- 
jesty having accepted the cession of the country of Louisiana 
and of the city of New Orleans, according to the copy of the 
said acts which you will find hereto annexed, I write you this 
letter to tell you that my intention is, that on receipt of the 
present letter and of the copies annexed, whether they reach you 
by the officers of His Catholic Majesty, or directly by the French 
vessels to which they will be entrusted, you should deliver into 
the hands of the governor or any officer appointed to that effect 
by the King of Spain, the said country and colony of Louisiana, 
and dependent posts, together with the city and the island of 
New Orleans, such as they shall be on the day of the said cession, 
wishing that in the future they should belong to His Catholic 
Majesty to be governed and administered by his governors and 
officers, as belonging to him in full ownership and without ex- 

I order you, in consequence, as soon as the governor and troops 


of that monarch shall have arrived in the said country and col- 
ony, to put them in possession, and to withdraw all the officers, 
soldiers, and employes at my service who shall he in garrison 
there, to send to France, or to my other colonies of America, 
those who would not wish to remain under the Spanish domination. 

I desire, besides, that after the entire evacuation of the said 
port and city of New Orleans, you should collect all the papers 
relative to the finances and to the administration of the colony 
of Louisiana, and come to France to render an account of them. 

My intention is, nevertheless, that you should deliver to the 
said governor, or officer appointed for that purpose, all the 
papers or documents that concern specially the government of 
this colony, either with reference to the savages or the different 
posts, after taking proper receipts for your discharge, and that 
you should give to the said governor all the information in your 
power, to place him in a condition to govern the said colony 
to the reciprocal satisfaction of the two nations. 

It is my will that there be an inventory signed double between 
you and the commissary of His Catholic Majesty, of all the ar- 
tillery, and all effects, stores, hospitals, sea vessels, etc., which 
belong in the said colony, in order that after you have placed the 
said commissary in possession of the civil buildings and edifices, 
there may be drawn a proces verbal of the valuation of the said 
effects which will remain in the colony, and of which the price 
will be reimbursed by His Catholic Majesty according to the 
said valuation. 

I hope, at the same time, for the advantage and tranquillity 
of the inhabitants of the colony of Louisiana, and I flatter myself, 
in consequence of the friendship and affection of His Catholic 
Majesty, that he will be pleased to give orders to his governor or 
any other officer employed at his service in the said colony and 
city of New Orleans, that the ecclesiastics and religious houses 
attending to curacies and missions shall continue to perform 
their functions and to enjoy the rights, privileges, and exemp- 


tions that have been granted to them by the titles of their estab- 
lishments ; that the judges of ordinary jurisdiction, as well as 
the Superior Council, shall continue to administer justice ac- 
cording to the laws, forms, and usages of the colony ; that the in- 
habitants shall be confirmed in the ownership of their lands in 
accordance with the concessions made by the governors and com- 
missaries [commlssaires ordonnateurs] of the said colony; and 
that the said concessions shall be considered and held as confirmed 
by His Catholic Majesty, although they may not yet have been 
confirmed by me; hoping, moreover, that His Catholic Majesty 
will be pleased to give to his subjects of Louisiana the marks 
of protection and good will which they have received under my 
domination, and which only the misfortunes of war have pre- 
vented from being more effectual. 

I order you to have my present letter registered at the Su- 
perior Council of New Orleans, in order that the different es- 
tates of the colony be informed of its contents, and may have 
recourse to it, if need be, the present letter being to no other 

I pray to God, M. d'Abbadie, to have you in his holy protec- 
tion. [Signed by the King and the Duke de Choiseul.] G 

Louisiana, therefore, was to pass from the domination 
of Louis XV to that of Charles III. Had it not been 
that they were handed over like cattle by one master to 
another, the Louisianians should have felt relieved to 
be no longer the subjects of the infamous King who had 
been the cause of the disasters of his country. Charles 
III of Spain was a far better man and an abler ruler than 
the Bourbon of Versailles. He was the son of Philip 
V, whom the armies of his grandfather, Louis XIV, had 
maintained on the throne of Spain. Charles was born in 
1716; his mother was Elizabeth Farnese, and in 1731 he 

17«4] CHARLES HI 151 

took possession of the duchies of Parma and Placentia, 
which had heen guaranteed to him by treaties in case 
of extinction of the Farneses. During the War of the 
Polish Succession he took possession of Naples and of 
Sicily, and he was recognized as King of the Two Sici- 
lies by the treaty of Vienna in 1738. On the death of 
his brother, Ferdinand VI, in 1759, he became King 
of Spain and ceded the Two Sicilies to one of his sons. 
Charles III died in 1788 and was succeeded by his son 
Charles IV, during whose reign Louisiana was re-ceded 
to France in 1800. The signature, so haughty and so 
conceited, " Yo el Rey," of the Spanish monarchs re- 
placed for many years, on official documents concerning 
Louisiana, the simple " Louis " of the French monarchs. 

On June 15, 1704, Nyon de Villiers, commandant at 
the Illinois, after waiting a long time for the arrival of 
the British, left the country ceded to the latter, and ar- 
rived in Xew Orleans on July 2, with six officers, sixty- 
three soldiers, and eighty civilians, including the women 
and the children. The savages were very hostile to 
the British, and it was not till 1765 that they took pos- 
session of Fort Chartres. " St. Ange," says Martin, 
" the French commandant there, crossed the Mississippi 
with a number of his countrymen, who were desirous to 
follow the white flag, and laid the foundation of the town 
of St. Louis, 7 which, with that of St. Genevieve, was the 
first settlement of the country now known as the State 
of Missouri." 

On February 4, 1705, DAbbadie died, greatly re- 
gretted by every one in Louisiana, and Aubry succeeded 


him as commandant or governor. His name is connected 
not creditably with the saddest and most glorious event 
in the colonial history of Louisiana. When the colonists 
heard, in October, 1764, of the cession to Spain, they 
were thrown into consternation and despair. They were 
greatly attached to France, and some of them had left 
the part of the province ceded to England, in order to 
remain Frenchmen. A meeting was held in New Or- 
leans of delegates from every parish, and Lafreniere, the 
attorney-general, made a speech in which he suggested 
that a petition be sent to the King, begging him not to 
give away his subjects to another monarch. The colonists 
were not aware of the infamy of the King, and they 
hoped that he would be touched by their expressions of 
devotion and love. Jean Milhet, the richest merchant 
in New Orleans, was sent to France as the representative 
of the Louisianians. As soon as he arrived in Paris he 
went to see Bienville, the father of Louisiana, who was 
then eighty-six years old. This venerable and distin- 
guished man called with Milhet on Choiseul, who re- 
ceived them very kindly, but did not allow them to see 
the King. Milhet failed in his efforts, and Bienville had 
the sorrow of seeing his beloved Louisiana become a 
Spanish province. He died in Paris on March 7, 1768. 
On February 28, 1765, 8 Foucault, the commissaire or- 
donnateur, wrote to the minister that a few days previ- 
ously several Acadian families, to the number of one hun- 
dred and ninety-three persons, had come over from Santo 
Domingo. They were poor, and worthy of pity, and as- 
sistance was given to them until they could choose lands 

ires] THE ACADIANS 153 

at the Opelousas and be in a condition to help themselves. 
On May 4 Foucault announced the arrival of eighty more 
Acadians, whom he intended to send to the Attakapas; 
and on May 13, of forty-eight Acadian families, which 
he sent also to the Opelousas and the Attakapas. On 
November 1G, 1766, Foucault announced the arrival from 
Halifax of two hundred and sixteen Acadians. Gayarre 
says lands on both sides of the Mississippi, above the Ger- 
man Coast, were given to them, and they settled there as 
far as Baton Rouge and Pointe Coupee. 

On April 30, 1765, 9 Aubry says it cost 15,500 livres 
to provide for the needs of the Acadian families, two 
hundred persons, recently arrived, and that it will cost as 
much for the next six months. Foucault says, according 
to Margry, that they were established at the Aodoussae, 
sixty leagues from New Orleans. 

Judge Martin, in his History of Louisiana, says the 
Acadians arrived in 1755 and received lands along the 
Mississippi coast, which later was called the Acadian 
Coast. Martin, however, gives no authority for his state- 

Foucault says it was on account of their religion that 
the Acadians left their country. The fact is, that most 
of those who came to Louisiana had been ruthlessly torn 
from their northern homes by the English in 1755. 

By the treaty of Utrecht 10 it had been stipulated that 
the Acadians might withdraw to the French possessions 
if they chose. There is no doubt that the English gov- 
ernors did all in their power to prevent the emigration 
to Cape Breton or to Canada. As they were not harsh, 


as a rule, to the inhabitants, the latter preferred to re- 
main in the country of their ancestors. But, for a long 
time, they refused to take the oath of allegiance to the 
English sovereign ; and when a part of the men took the 
oath, it was with a tacit, if not expressed, understanding 
that they should never be compelled to bear arms against 
the French. That the priests in Acadia, and even the 
Governor of Canada, tried to keep the inhabitants faith- 
ful to the French King, in spite of their being English 
subjects, there is no reasonable doubt. We can hardly 
blame this feeling, if we consider what great rivalry there 
was at the time between the English and the French in 
America, and also the spirit of intolerance then every- 
where prevalent. The priests must have considered it 
a duty on their part to try to harm the English heretics; 
and although we may not approve the act of some of 
them, nor the duplicity of some of the French agents, 
we do not find in their conduct any excuse for the cruelty 
of the English. 

Seeing how disaffected the Acadians were with their 
new masters, the Marquis Cornwallis, in 1749, laid the 
foundations of Halifax as a protection against Louis- 
bourg. Some of the inhabitants had escaped from the 
colony at the instigation of L'Abbe le Loutre, says Park- 
man, and had gone to the adjoining French settlements. 
Their lot was sad, as the French were not able to pro- 
vide for them, and the English would receive them only 
as English subjects. It is not astonishing that they 
should make a kind of guerrilla war with their Indian 
allies against the English, and that they should excite 

1705] THE ACADIANS 155 

their countrymen against the conquerors. It must be 
admitted that the English were in great peril in the 
midst of men openly or secretly hostile to them; but no 
necessity of war can justify tho measures taken to rid 
English Nova Scotia of her French Acadians. 

In 1755 the Governor of Acadia, Charles Lawrence, 
resolved to expel the French from the posts which they 
still held in the colony. A force of eighteen hundred 
men, commanded by Colonel Monckton, sailed from New 
England and captured Fort Beausejour, which the cow- 
ardly and vile commandant, Vergor, surrendered at the 
first attack. On the Plains of Abraham he was also to 
be the first to yield to Wolfe, and to cause the defeat 
and death of the brave Montcalm, the fall of Quebec, and 
the loss of Canada. 

After the capture of Beausejour, Fort Gaspereau sur- 
rendered also, and there was no longer any obstacle to 
prevent Lawrence from accomplishing a design which 
he must have been cherishing for some time. The gov- 
ernor determined to remove from the province all the 
French Acadians. He required from the inhabitants an 
oath of unqualified allegiance, and on their refusal he 
resolved to proceed to extreme measures. Parkman says 
that " the Acadians, though calling themselves neu- 
trals, were an enemy encamped in the heart of the prov- 
ince," and adds: " These are the reasons which explain 
and palliate a measure too harsh and indiscriminate to 
be wholly justified." 

It is impossible to justify the measure in any way; fear 
of an enemy does not justify his murder, and the ex- 


pulsion of the Acadians was the cause of untold misery, 
hoth physical and moral, and of the death of a number 
of men, women, and children. If the harsh removal of 
the Acadians is justifiable, so is Bonaparte's massacre 
of the prisoners of Jaffa. He could not provide for 
them as prisoners, and if he released them they would 
immediately attack him again. 

Governor Lawrence was the more inexcusable because 
the only Acadians that gave him any cause of anxiety 
were those of Beausejour, and they had been defeated. 
The inhabitants of the Basin of Minas and of Annapolis 
were peaceful, prosperous, and contented, and although 
they might have sided with the French in an invasion 
of the province, they never would have thought of re- 
volting against the English. They were an ignorant 
and simple people, but laborious, chaste, and religious. 
Their chief defect seems to have been an inordinate love 
for litigation, a trait which they inherited from their 
Norman ancestors. Lawrence took away the guns of 
many of the inhabitants by an unworthy stratagem, and 
then he ordered the ruthless work to be done. Monck- 
ton seized the men of Beausejour, and Winslow, Hand- 
field, and Murray did the same at Grand-Pre, at An- 
napolis, and at Fort Edward. 

Winslow issued a proclamation calling upon all the 
men to meet him at the village church on Sunday. There 
he was at the appointed hour with his two hundred and 
ninety men fully armed, to meet the intended victims. 
Four hundred and eighteen men answered the call and 
assembled in the church. What was their consternation 

1765] THE ACADIANS 157 

on hearing that they Avere prisoners, that all their prop- 
erty was confiscated, and that they were to he torn from 
their homes with their families. No resistance was pos- 
sihle, as the men were unarmed. They were put for safe 
keeping on hoard four ships, and on October 8 the 
men, women, and children were embarked. This was 
" le grand derangement " of which their descendants, says 
Li'Abbe Casgrain, speak to this day. Winslow completed 
his work in December and shipped twenty-five hundred 
and ten persons. Murray, Monckton, and Handheld were 
equally successful, and more than six thousand persons 
were violently expelled from the colony. A few managed 
to escape, although they were tracked like wild beasts. In 
order to compel them to surrender, the dwellings and even 
the churches were burned and the crops were destroyed. 
The fugitives suffered frightfully, and many women and 
children died in misery. In this scene of persecution we 
are glad to see the brave officer Boishebert defeat a party 
of English who were burning a church at Peticodiac. 
Unhappily, no resistance could be made, and the unfor- 
tunates were huddled together like sheep on board the 
transports, to be scattered along the Atlantic coast among 
a hostile people speaking a language unknown to them, 
and having a creed different from their own. 

The families were not always on the same ship; the 
father and mother, in some instances, were separated 
from their children; and many Evangelines never met 
their Gabriels. The lot of the exiles in the English col- 
onies was generally hard. Very few remained where they 
had been transported. Many returned to their country 


after incredible sufferings, to be again expelled in 1762; 
some went to France, where they formed a settlement at 
Belle-Isle; some went to the Antilles; and some at last 
found a true home in hospitable Louisiana. At the peace 
of 1763 some of the Acadians returned to Nova Scotia; 
and their descendants, together with those of the inhabi- 
tants who had escaped from the persecution, number now, 
according to LAbbe Casgrain, more than 130,000 souls. 

It is interesting to note the names of the officers in 
Louisiana at the end of the French domination. The 
following is a list of those to whom commissions had been 
given: n De Macarty, lieutenant de roi at New Orleans; 
De la Houssaye, major at New Orleans; Du Barry, ma- 
jor at New Orleans; Renaud de Coudreau, lieutenant 
of the company of canonniers bombardiers in Louisiana. 
Captains: Aubert, Trudeau, De Lusser, De Portneuf, 
Chevalier Dufossat, De l'Hommer, Fleuriau, Voisin. 
Lieutenants: Roullin, Peschon, Le Blanc, Chevalier de 
Lusser, De Livaudais aine, Charles Dessalles, Dorio- 
court, Chevalier de Rouville, Adam, De St. Denis aine, 
De Belle-Isle, Laforest de Laumont, Chevalier de la 
Ronde, Dussuau, Boisseau, Ricard, Chevalier de Villiers. 
Ensigns: Lantagnac, Girardeau cadet, De Bachemin, 
Lalande Dalcourt, Baudin, Vedrine, De Vin, Pellerin, 
D'Arensbourg aine, Duverger aine, De la Vau, De La- 
touche, Duverger Toubadon, Chevalier de Glapion, Mon- 
gin, DArensbourg cadet, De Velle, Enould de Livau- 
dais, Kernion, Dutisne. Captain of the gates of the city 
of New Orleans, Charles Joseph Le Blanc. 

The cross of St. Louis was sent in 1759 to Captain de 

1766] ULLOA 159 

Pontalba, in 1764 to Captain de Favrot and to Comman- 
dant Nyon de Villiers, in 1765 to Marest de la Tour, De 
Bonille, D'Arensbourg, and De Lavergne. 

Milhet announced to the Louisianians the failure of 
his mission; hut the colonists had begun to hope that 
Spain would not take possession of Louisiana. On July 
10, 1765, however, Don Antonio de Ulloa wrote from 
Havana to Aubry that he had been appointed governor 
of Louisiana by the King of Spain. He arrived in New 
Orleans on March 5, 1766. The Spanish King had not 
appeared very anxious to take possession of his new do- 
minions. More than three years had elapsed from the 
date of the secret treaty of Fontainebleau, by which 
France had ceded Louisiana to Spain, before a Spanish 
official appeared in the colony, and when that official did 
arrive he came nearly alone and did not publicly assume 
authority. Aubry, nevertheless, recognized him as the 
representative of the King of Spain, and issued orders 
in the King's name. Ulloa had with him only two com- 
panies of infantry, commanded by Piernas and composed 
of ninety men. The French soldiers refused to enter the 
service of Spain, declaring that the term of their enlist- 
ment had expired. The Spanish governor, therefore, de- 
layed taking possession officially until he should have 
more troops to sustain his authority. Three Spanish offi- 
cers had accompanied him — Loyola, commissary of war; 
Navarro, intendant; and Gayarre, contador or president 
of the court of accounts. 

The condition of affairs in the colony was very unfor- 
tunate ; for LTlloa's orders, issued through Aubry, did not 


appear binding on the inhabitants, and merely irritated 
them. Such was the case especially with an ordinance 
dated September 6, 1766, by which " it is ordered that 
all captains coming from Santo Domingo, as well as 
those who come from France, provided with a passport 
of his Excellency the Secretary of State of his Catholic 
Majesty (for otherwise they will not be received), pre- 
sent themselves to M. de Ulloa with their passports, im- 
mediately after their arrival, and with the invoice of their 
cargoes. It is forbidden to unload anything until they 
have permisison from him written at the bottom of their 
passports or of their invoices. And it is ordered that the 
brokers present themselves equally before M. de Ulloa, 
giving the price at which they are willing to sell their 
merchandise, to have it examined by just and intelligent 
persons of this colony, and, if the prices are excessive, 
they will not be allowed to sell their merchandise, and 
they will be obliged to go elsewhere to sell it. The mer- 
chants will be obliged to receive the current money of the 
country in payment of their merchandise. They will 
form at least one third of their cargo of lumber and other 
products of the colony." 

On September 8 the merchants of New Orleans sent 
a petition to the Superior Council, asking to be heard 
before the ordinance was put into effect, that they might 
have time to prove " that the extension and freedom of 
commerce, far from doing harm to states and colonies, 
are, on the contrary, their strength and their support." 

The petition was signed as follows: "Joseph MiDiet, 
Rose, Cantrelle, D. Braud, J. Merrier, L. Ducrest, Petit, 


Duforest, Toutant Beauregard, L. Boisdore, B. Du- 
plessy, Braquier, P. Caresse, J. Vienne, P. Segond, Voix, 
Durel, Blache, M. Poupet, P. Poupet, Estebe, Rodrigue, 
J. Sauvestre, G. Gardelle, Ducarpe, F. Durand, J. and 
N. Boudet, Rivoire, Macuenara, F. Denis, J. Arnoult, 
A. Reynard, P. Senilh, A. Bodaille, Laulhe, Dubourg, 
Durand cadet, Festas, Frigiere, L. Ranson, Fournier 
and St. Pe, Detour and Villefranche, Salomon, Delas- 
size, Blaignat, Langlois, Fortier, J. Lafitte cadet, He- 
nard, L. Estardy, Astier and Brunet, J. Bienvenu, 
Sarpy, Doraison, Cavelier freres, Papion, Gaurrege, 
Revoil, Guezille, Guignan, St. Anne, Moullineau, P. 
Hery, A. Ollivier, and Broussard." A little later the 
following names were added: "Dumas and Grieumard, 
Chateau, P. Simon, E. Hugues, J. Sarrou, B. Gaillardi, 
Raguet, J. Nicolet, Brion, Betremieux l'aine, Blandin 
Dutertre, Bijon, L. d'Haubeck, M. Duralde, Bonnemai- 
son, Joli, Forstall, B. l'Enfant." 

Ulloa was a man of merit, a distinguished savant, but 
lacking in tact as commander of a people opposed to a 
change of rulers, who should have been treated with the 
utmost gentleness. The governor acted with haughti- 
ness in his dealings with the inhabitants, and certainly 
governed in a strange manner. He remained at the Ba- 
lize for seven months to await his Peruvian bride, the 
Marchioness dAbrado, not once in the mean time going 
to New Orleans. Aubry went to see Ulloa at the Balize, 
and while he was there he and Ulloa signed a paper by 
which the colony was transferred to Spain. No public 
act of possession took place, except that Aubry author- 


ized Ulloa to raise the Spanish flag at the Balize. Ulloa 
established also posts in the Missouri country, at Iber- 
ville River, and opposite Natchez; and he caused the 
Spanish flag to be hoisted there. In New Orleans, how- 
ever, the capital of the province, the French banner was 
still floating in the Place d'Armes, and no transfer of 
the colony from France to Spain had taken place. The 
colonists were justified in not acknowledging Ulloa's 
rule and in asking for his withdrawal from Louisiana. 

On January 17 and 18, 1768, the cold was intense, and 
the orange trees perished, as in 1748. The river before 
New Orleans was frozen on both sides from thirty to forty 
feet. On January 20, 1768, Aubry wrote an interesting 
letter, of which the following are curious extracts: 12 " My 
position is most extraordinary. I command for the King 
of France and at the same time I govern the colony as 
if it belonged to the King of Spain. I have almost suc- 
ceeded in being able to make French vivacity agree with 
Spanish gravity, by the trouble which I have given my- 
self. There has happened, thanks to God! no accident— 
not a Spaniard killed, not even a quarrel at all serious." 

Aubry was a poor prophet, for only a few months 
later a revolution against the Spanish domination broke 
cut in Louisiana. Jean Milhet had returned from 
France at the end of 1767, and the narrative of the fail- 
ure of his undertaking had caused great excitement in 
the colony. Meetings were held in New Orleans and 
elsewhere, and at the German Coast, says Martin, "perfect 
unanimity prevailed." A Capuchin missionary there, 
Father Barnabe, exerted his influence on his parishioners, 


and took an active part in the opposition against Spain. 
Finally a meeting was held in New Orleans, which was 
attended hy delegates from all parts of the province. 
Lafreniere was the chief speaker, and addresses were 
also made by Jean Milhet and his brother Joseph, and 
by Doucet, a lawyer. A petition to the Superior Coun- 
cil, enumerating the grievances against Ulloa, was pre- 
pared, and was signed by five hundred and sixty of the 
most influential inhabitants in the colony. Foucault, the 
commissaire ordonnutcur, authorized the printing of the 
petition, which was presented to the Council on October 
28, 1768. It mentioned several acts of severity of Ulloa, 
a stranger who had not observed any of the formalities 
prescribed by the act of cession. This was the petition: 13 

How shall we describe the inhumanity with which the Acadians 
have been treated? Those people, so long tossed about by events, 
determined, through a patriotic spirit, to abandon all that they 
might possess on the English lands, to come to live under the 
happy laws of their former master. They arrived, at great ex- 
pense, in this colony. Hardly have they succeeded in clearing the 
ground needed for a poor hut when, on account of some repre- 
sentations which they wished to make to M. de Ulloa, he threat- 
ened to drive them from the colony and to have them sold as slaves, 
to pay for the rations which the King had given them, by order- 
ing the Germans to refuse to give them a refuge. We leave it 
to be decided whether this conduct is not barbarous. But we be- 
lieve that we can say, without exaggerating, that it is diamet- 
rically opposite to that political prudence which wishes that all 
the branches of the population be favored. 

Those who complain (and what man borne down under the 
joke can suffer such inhumanities without murmuring?) — yes, we 


dare say so — those who complain are threatened with being im- 
prisoned, exiled to the Balize, or sent to the mines. 

If M. de Ulloa has been clothed with some authority, his prince 
has never ordered him to render it tyrannical, or to exercise it 
before having made known his titles and powers. Such vexations 
do not come from the hearts of Kings. They agree little with 
the humanity which controls their character and their acts. 

We should never end if we undertook to mention in detail all 
the humiliations which the French of New Orleans have suffered. 
It is to be desired, for the honor of the nation, that what 
has transpired may be counteracted by the protection of the 
Superior Council, which we claim to-day. For, as a climax to 
so many tribulations, we predict that, after some time, the colo- 
nists of Louisiana will be reduced to the simple food of the Tor- 
tilla, while the most sober food will never cause them trouble. 

However, the preservation of their life, their obligations to 
their creditors, their honor emanating from patriotism and from 
their duty, and finally their fortunes attacked by said decree, 
induce them to offer their property and their blood to preserve 
forever the sweet and inviolable title of French citizen. 

All this leads them naturally to conclusions, which the zeal of 
the Superior Court for the public good, its firmness for the main- 
tenance of the laws of which His Most Christian Majesty has 
made them depositary, assure them that it will receive most fa- 

The petitioners pay here the highest compliments to 
Aubry, who was soon to show that he did not deserve 
them, and they conclude by supplicating the court: 

1st. To be assured that the privileges and exemptions, which 
the colony has enjoyed since the retrocession that the Company 
of the Indies has made to His Most Christian Majesty, will be 
maintained, without any innovation that shall arrest them and 
disturb the security of the citizens. 


2d. That passports, furloughs, and permissions emanating 
from the governor and the commissary of His Most Christian 
Majesty be granted to captains of ships that sail from this col- 
ony for any port of France and of America. 

3d. That any vessel from any port of France or America have 
free entrance of the river, whether it come directly for this col- 
ony, or call here, as has always been done. 

4th. That freedom of commerce with all the nations of the 
continent which are under the domination of His Most Christian 
Majesty be granted to all citizens, in accordance with the orders 
of the King to the late M. d'Abbadie, registered at the record- 
office of this town, and in accordance also with the letter of Mon- 
seigneur the Duke de Choiseul to the same M. d'Abbadie, dated 
February 9, 1765. 

5th. That M. de Ulloa be declared infractor and usurper, on 
several points, of the authority devolving on the Government and 
the Council; since all the laws, ordinances, and customs require 
that this authority be exercised by an officer only after he shall 
have observed all the formalities prescribed, and this M. de Ulloa 
has not done. He should then be declared infractor and usurper 
for the following reasons : 

For having had the Spanish flag raised in several places in 
the colony without having previously shown and caused to be 
registered with the Council the titles and credentials with which 
he may have been provided, and without the citizens assembled 
having been informed of them. 

For having, by his own private authority, required that cap- 
tains of vessels be detained, and their vessels kept in port, without 
any cause ; and for having kept under arrest French citizens on 
board a Spanish frigate. 

The undersigned demand that, in virtue of all these grievances, 
and of many others of public notoriety, and also for the tran- 
quillity of citizens who claim the protection of the Council, they 
be freed henceforth from the fear of a tyrannical authority and 
of the conditions of said decree, by the removal of M. de Ulloa, 


who should bo ordered to embark in the first vessel that shall de- 
part, to go wherever lie may please, out of the dependency of this 

Finally, that all the Spanish officers who arc in this city, or 
scattered in the posts of the colony, be ordered to depart and 
go likewise where they please, out of the dependency of the prov- 
ince; and that it please the Court to order that the decree to be 
issued be read, published, and posted in all the usual places of 
this town, and that collated copies be sent to all the ports of the 

This petition was read to the Council, and, at the re- 
quest of the attorney-general, Lafreniere, was referred 
to Huchet de Kernion and Piot de Launay, titular coun- 
cilors, to be examined and reported upon. 

Lafreniere, in his capacity of attorney-general, ad- 
dressed the Council in favor of the petition, and spoke 
with great courage and eloquence. The following words 
of his deserve to be quoted : 

Liberty and competition are the foster mothers of the two es- 
tates [commerce and agriculture]. Exclusion is their tyrant and 
stepmother. Without liberty, there are no more virtues. From 
despotism come pusillanimity and the abyss of vices. Man is recog- 
nized as sinning against God, only because he preserves free will. 
Where is the liberty of the planters and of the merchants? The 
marks of protection and kindness are changed into despotism; a 
single authority wishes to destroy everything. The estates must 
no longer run the risk of being taxed with crime, of trembling, 
of being enslaved, and of crawling. The Superior Council, bul- 
wark of the tranquillity of the virtuous citizens, has been main- 
tained onky by the probity and disinterestedness of the magis- 
trates and the united confidence of the citizens in them. 14 

H68] LAF11EXIERE 167 

The attorney-general concluded his address hy asking 
that M. de Ulloa be declared infractor of the laws, forms, 
and usages, and usurper of an illegal authority; that 
he be ordered to leave the colony without delay, in the 
frigate in which he came; that Messrs. Aubry and Fou- 
cault be requested, and even commanded, in the name 
of the King, to continue to govern the colony; that no 
vessel be allowed to sail from the colony unless with 
passports from M. Foucault acting as commissaire or- 
donnateur; that taking possession of the colony be not 
proposed or attempted by any means, without new or- 
ders from His Catholic Majesty; that Messrs. Loyola, 
Gayarre, and Xavarro be declared responsible for the 
bonds issued by them, unless they show their authority 
from His Catholic Majesty; that the planters and mer- 
chants be authorized to choose deputies to carry their 
petition to the King of France ; that the Superior Coun- 
cil address representations to the King; that the decree 
to be rendered be read, published, posted, and registered ; 
that collated copies of the decree be sent to the Duke de 
Praslin with a letter from the Superior Council, and 
copies sent also to all the posts in the colony, to be pub- 
lished, posted, and registered. 

At a meeting of the Superior Council, held on October 
29, 1768, the report of the titular councilors and special 
commissioners, Huchet de Kernion and Piot de Launay, 
was read, and it was decided to adopt the conclusions of 
the attorney-general. A decree to that effect was there- 
fore rendered. 

Foucault expressed his opinion that none of the Span- 


ish officers could be sent away from the colony by an 
order of the Court ; that Ulloa, not having formally taken 
possession, should not perform any of the duties of gov- 
ernor with regard to the French; that navigation should 
take place as before Ulloa's arrival; that all the Spanish 
officers of administration should continue to fulfil their 
functions, with regard to supplying the capital and posts 
with provisions, to paying the French troops, and at- 
tending to necessary works. 15 

Foucault's opinion was not very logical; but in times 
of revolution we must not expect dispassionate logic 
from men who rise against oppression. His part in 
the events of October, 1768, and later, was not credi- 
table. The inhabitants of Louisiana, in their petition 
to the Council, and in their memorial afterward ad- 
dressed to the King, were sometimes, like Foucault, lack- 
ing in logic. They were right, however, in the main 
points of their complaints. 

On the very day of the adoption of the decree against 
Ulloa, October 29, 16 Aubry protested, and said he would 
oppose Ulloa's departure, if he did not fear to expose 
the latter's life and that of all the Spaniards who were 
in Louisiana. On October 31 the Council declared Au- 
bry's protest null and void, and ordered the enforcement 
of the decree. 

Ulloa had been given three days to leave the colony, 
and on October 31 he embarked with his family on board 
a French ship that he had chartered. On November 1 
a band of colonists who were returning from a wedding, 
at daybreak, appeared on the levee, singing patriotic airs 


and uttering cries of triumph. One of them, named Pe- 
tit, cut the cables of the vessel on which was the Spanish 
governor, and the ship drifted down with the current. 
The foreigner was thus expelled, and a revolution had 
taken place. 

A letter written on October 30 by Aubry to the min- 
ister, related the events of the preceding day, and said 
that four delegates were to leave for France. Lapey- 
riere was sent by him to relate the details of " this revo- 
lution"; Lesassier, by the Superior Council; De Bien- 
ville, naval officer, by the planters; Milhet, captain of 
militia, by the merchants. Bienville was a Creole of 
Louisiana, a brother of Noyan. He refused to act as 
delegate of the planters, on account of his being an offi- 
cer of the navy, but he departed from the province with 
the other delegates. He had been one of the chiefs of the 
revolution, and would probably have shared the fate of his 
brother Noyan had he remained in Louisiana. Milhet, 
mentioned by Aubry as the delegate of the merchants, 
did not leave the colony, and St. Lette went to France 
to represent the planters and the merchants. The dele- 
gates from Louisiana carried to the Duke de Praslin, 
who was Minister of Foreign Affairs, all the papers re- 
lating to the revolution, including the famous memorial 
of the planters and merchants. 

Letters were written to Praslin by the syndics of the 
planters and merchants, Marquis, Masan, Braquier, and 
Carresse, and by the Superior Council. The latter body 
sent also a long address to the King, 17 relating the events 
that had taken place in the province, and justifying their 


action with regard to Ulloa. They said that when they 
received the letter of the King concerning the cession, 
they proved their submission by registering it immedi- 
ately, in spite of the sad situation of the people, who were 
always attached to the King. 

The tranquillity and happiness of the inhabitants had 
been guaranteed by the King, who promised that the 
laws and customs of the colony should be observed. Two 
years elapsed between the receipt of the King's letter 
and the arrival of Ulloa, and in the mean time the inhabi- 
tants still considered themselves French subjects, and 
the colony prospered. Ulloa arrived at the Balize on 
February 22, 1766. A tragic event deprived him of 
eleven of his sailors; and rain, thunder, and wind intro- 
duced him to New Orleans on March 5 at noon. He 
was received with respect. 

Ulloa visited the posts as far as Natchitoches, and 
promised ten years' freedom of commerce. On his re- 
turn he did not present any of his titles and powers, and 
on September 6, 1766, he issued an illegal comm'ercial 
ordinance. All the merchants united to ask the Council 
to declare its illegality. It was not annulled by decree, 
but it was promised that it would not be enforced as 
long as legal possession of the province had not been 
taken. Ulloa asked that the petition of the merchants 
be communicated to him, that he might choose among 
the signers those whom he wished to sacrifice to his wrath. 
Foucault refused to accede to his demand, and said that 
the petition would be sent to the Duke de Choiseul. 
Ulloa called himself king of the colony, and spoke in 

■ . 


the most insulting manner of the Superior Council, of 
Foucaultj and of all Frenchmen. This spread alarm 
and consternation in the province. 

Ulloa dared, without legal authority, to create a new 
Council, and committed numerous acts of despotism. 
He violated the Black Code by permitting a Spaniard 
to marry a negress, his servant, in his own house. He 
granted protection to negroes, without hearing their mas- 
ters. ' Your subjects were threatened with slavery, and 
their negroes acquired the degrees of free men." 

The colony lost its prosperity, and all hearts were 
given up to despair. Ulloa was declared the implacable 
enemy of all Frenchmen, and all the people — planters, 
merchants, artisans, and workmen — united in addressing 
a petition to the Superior Council. The Council met on 
October 28, at eight o'clock in the morning, and ordered 
that two titular councilors be named to examine the 
petition and report the next day; while six notable in- 
habitants were named councilors assessors. The Coun- 
cil, composed of thirteen members, met at nine o'clock in 
the morning on October 29, and before a vote was taken 
Aubry was asked whether Ulloa had communicated to 
him his titles and powers. He answered that " no deci- 
sive title had been communicated to him about the mis- 
sion of M. de Ulloa." The opinion or vote of each mem- 
ber was given in writing, and the decree was announced 
at a quarter to twelve. At a quarter past two it was an- 
nounced to Ulloa on board the Spanish frigate. Aubry 
protested against the decree; his protest was declared 
null and void, and on November 1 four deputies of the 


planters and merchants asked, at half-past two o'clock, 
that the decree be executed. The Council met, and at 
four o'clock it was announced that Ulloa had embarked 
on board the ship that he had chosen. He remained eleven 
hours in the river, without being molested. He was al- 
lowed a delay of only three days on account of the great 
excitement and general discontent, and because four 
fifths of the furniture of which he had made use belonged 
to the owner of the house and to different individuals. 
The Superior Council said in a letter to the King: 

The French, accustomed to the gentleness of a government de- 
sired by all strangers, will never be able to subject themselves to 
the exclusiveness and despotism practiced in all the Spanish gov- 
ernments. Man is born submissive to laws. He knows them as 
he advances in age, and remains attached to them in maturity. 
The recasting of the character, of the heart and of honest cus- 
toms can never be done freely by men who have fulfilled half of 
their career ; force alone can subdue them. What life ! what com- 
bat for citizens, Sire, born subjects of the King Louis the Well 
Beloved! Deign yet, Sire, to favor the general wish of the 
colony, and the very humble representations of your Superior 

The titular councilors,' s named as already stated, 
were Huchet de Kernion and De Launay, on account of 
the sickness of De Lalande and De la Chaise ; the coun- 
cilors assessors were Lesassier, Fleuriau, Hardy de Bois- 
blanc, De la Sestiere Pascalis de Labarre, Bobe Des- 
closeaux, Ducros, and Thomassin. 

On November 7, 1768, the Superior Council ordered 
an investigation to be held concerning the " vexations " 
committed by Ulloa, notwithstanding their notoriety. 
Huchet de Kernion and Louis Piot de Launay were 


named to conduct the investigation. Several witnesses 
were heard, among whom were Father Dagobert and 
Dr. Lebeau, and their testimony proves that the Span- 
ish governor committed many acts of oppression and of 
despotism. 19 A curious charge against him was, that he 
would not allow negroes to be chastised in the houses of 
their masters, because it inconvenienced his Peruvian 
wife. Captain Piernas comes in for his share of blame 
for the very outrageous treatment at Natchez of some 
Frenchmen who were going up the river in a boat. 

On March 20, 1769, the inhabitants of Louisiana ad- 
dressed a very touching letter to the Duke de Praslin, in 
which they implored his assistance in preserving to them 
the " precious and inestimable title of French citizens." 
The King and his minister, however, turned a deaf ear 
to the entreaties of men whose country had been cast 
out from the French dominions, and they were left to 
their unhappy fate. 

The new Council that Ulloa was accused of having 
formed was composed of Loyola, commissary of war; 
Gayarre, contador; D'Acosta, commanding the Spanish 
frigate Le Volant; De Reggio, retired captain of in- 
fantry; Olivier de Vezin, surveyor; De la Chaise, hon- 
orary councilor of the Superior Council; and Dreux, 
captain of militia. 20 

Antonio de Ulloa, 21 whom the Louisianians expelled 
from the colony, was born in Seville in 1716, and died in 
1795. He was a distinguished traveler and scientist, 
and established in Spain the first cabinet of natural his- 
tory and the first laboratory of metallurgy. It was he, 
also, who had the first idea of a canal for navigation and 


irrigation in Old Castile. He perfected the art of en- 
graving, of printing, and of the manufacture of cloth, 
and he directed the designing of the geographical maps 
of Spain. He wrote several works, among which were 
" Historical Voyages in South America," " American 
Notes: Physico-historical Discourses on South America 
and on the East of North America," and " Observations 
taken at Sea of an Eclipse of the Sun." His utter fail- 
ure as governor of Louisiana proves that he was better 
fitted to be a writer on scientific subjects than the ad- 
ministrator of a province in a period of transition from 
one domination to another. 

Lafreniere was really the chief of the revolution 
against Spain, and the memory of this able and heroic 
man should be honored in Louisiana. Baudry des Lo- 
zieres says of him: 22 

M. de Lafreniere was one of the handsomest men whom nature 
has been pleased to form. Tall, well made, with a noble air, im- 
posing and brave, there was no one to be compared with him. 
His eye had a fire that penetrated everything; he knew how to 
deliver agreeably convincing addresses. His appearance was so 
remarkable that, not knowing to whom to compare him, he was 
commonly called Louis XIV, because he had really that majesty 
which one attributes to sovereigns. Of exceeding kindness, he 
loved his compatriots with the tenderness of a brother, and he 
had all the virtues that cause a husband, a father, a friend, a 
citizen, to be cherished. He had been educated in France, and 
he had brought back the charms and the good taste that he 
spread over all that he said and all that he wrote. He was the 
object of the attentions of society, and of astonishment in public 
assemblies. Gentle, moderate in ordinary situations of life, he 
was of electrical vivacity on serious occasions ; nothing, so to say, 


could resist the torrent of liis eloquence. He had, for first and 
sincere friend, a man worthy of public esteem, who by his 
virtues, his mind, his talents, his wealth, and his credit, had ob- 
tained over him a just influence. This was Jean Milhet, of whom 
we have spoken, and whom we shall see pay dearly for this 
precious friendship. 

' The chief conspirators," says Gayarre, " were some 
of the most influential men in the colony, such as: La- 
freniere, the King's attorney-general; Foucault, the in- 
tendant commissary; Masan, a retired captain of in- 
fantry, a wealthy planter, and a Knight of St. Louis; 
Marquis, a captain in the Swiss troops enlisted in the 
service of France; Noyan, a retired captain of cavalry; 
and Bienville, a lieutenant in the navy (both nephews of 
Bienville, founder of the colony) ; Doucet, a distin- 
guished lawyer; Jean and Joseph Milhet, Carresse, Pe- 
tit, and Poupet, who were among the principal mer- 
chants; Hardy de Boisblanc, a former member of the 
Superior Council and a planter of note; Villere, com- 
mander of the German Coast." 

Braud, the King's printer, printed a long memorial 
of the planters and merchants of Louisiana about the 
event of October 29, 1768, and it is one of the most 
important and interesting documents in our history. 
The colonists did not prove their case fully against 
Ulloa; but we see in their memorial their bitter opposi- 
tion to the ride of Spain, of the foreigner, and their noble 
sentiments of manhood. They resisted oppression, and 
their spirit was highly patriotic. They were not impelled 
by fear of losing their commerce, but primarily by love 


for France, and then by a worthy spirit of independence. 
We, their descendants, admire their feelings and are 
proud of their heroism. The French colonists of 1768 
were inspired by the same feelings that caused the Amer- 
ican colonists of 1776 to rise against the tyranny of 
George III. Lafreniere and his friends, as later Wash- 
ington and his associates, took up arms to resist oppres- 
sion. From all the parishes in Louisiana brave and reso- 
lute men had assembled in New Orleans on the eventful 
29th of October. 23 The Germans were led by Villere, 
the Acadians by Noyan, and Marquis was commander- 
in-chief. All these valiant men rejoiced in the over- 
throw of Ulloa, in spite of Aubry's protest. The latter 
played an unenviable part in these events. He had 
acted as the tool of the Spanish governor, instead of 
declining to recognize the latter's authority until he 
should show his credentials. He acted with Ulloa 
against the colonists, and we shall soon see him play 
informer against his own fellow-citizens. Foucault was 
as despicable as Aubry, and was utterly devoid of cour- 
age and nobility of soul. 

On December 14, 1768, the inhabitants of Louisiana 
presented another petition to the Superior Council, ask- 
ing for the expulsion of the Spanish frigate Le Volant, 
which had remained in the river. The petition was pre- 
sented by Marquis, De La Ronde, and Le Breton, syn- 
dics of the planters, and by Carresse and Braquier, syn- 
dics of the merchants. The frigate finally left the colony 
on April 20, 1769. The Louisianians had been most per- 
sistent in their opposition to everything foreign. 


Memorial of the Planters and Merchants 

of Louisiana on the Event of 

October 29, 1768 J 

Necessity of the Revolution — Love for the King of France— Promises of 
Louis XV in the name of the King of Spain— Arrival of Ulloa — His recep- 
tion by the people — Important trades restricted by Ulloa — No outlet for 
products of Louisiana in Spain — Louisiana to be made a rampart to Mexico 
— No advantage in being allowed to go to foreign countries when there is 
no market for goods in Spain — Ulloa introduces the Spanish law in spite 
of promise of Louis XV — Interdiction of the passes of the Mississippi — 
Accidents to vessels through UHoa's order of interdiction — Ulloa closes 
brickyards — Ulloa prohibits the introduction of negroes — Ulloa treats 
respectful representations as seditious — Ulloa does not show his pow- 
ers— Ulloa treats New Orleans as a conquered city — Ulloa mal- 
treats the Germans and the Acadians — Ulloa's contempt for the eccle- 
siastical laws— Frenchmen have often shaken off a foreign yoke with- 
out consent of the government — The Spanish possessions better protected 
if Louisiana remains French — The loss of Canada renders Louisiana very 
useful to France — Close relations with merchants of France — Obstacle to 
the cession is love for the King of France— The flag of Spain was not 
insulted — Prayer to the King to take back the colony— The Memorial a 
noble paper. 

CULAR witnesses of the calamities 
that are afflicting us, the magistrates 
of the Superior Council of Louisi- 
ana have not been able to refuse any 
longer to listen to the plaintive cries 
of an oppressed people. The decree 
of the 29th of October, which has 
followed our very humble representations, is a local 



proof of the imminence of the dangers that surrounded 
us, and of the weight of the yoke that was beginning to 
overwhelm us. Animated by the circumstances to be- 
lieve that great evils called for prompt and efficacious 
remedies, our magistrates have not hesitated a moment 
about the necessary action of sending back the so-called 
governor of His Catholic Majesty, to render him an 
account of his conduct. But their diligent cares were 
not limited to calming the anxieties of a groaning people. 
They have also authorized them to carry their supplica- 
tion and their desires to the foot of the throne, being 
well persuaded that the compassionate look of their nat- 
ural sovereign would rest upon such devoted subjects, 
and that their respectful love for their monarch would 
not be rejected by his beneficent Majesty, the image on 
earth for his people of the preserving Being. Zealous 
Frenchmen whose estates and families are established 
on the continent, you whose pure hearts do not need that 
the eye of the sovereign should animate them, you whose 
zeal for your incomparable monarch has not suffered 
from the crossing and the distance of the seas, from con- 
tact with the foreigner, from the busy activity of a neigh- 
boring and rival nation, calm your anxieties about the 
cession of this province. Our great King, in his letter 
that announces it to us, seemed to foresee our alarms. 
He rendered himself mediator of our cause with His 
Catholic Majesty, he caused us to hope from him the 
same marks of kindness and protection that one enjoys 
under his cherished domination. Those august senti- 
ments must embolden our love. Let the cries of joy, of 


' Long live the King! ' repeated so often around our pa- 
vilion on the day of the revolution and during the two 
days that followed it, be repeated without fear! Let our 
feeble voice inform the universe and posterity even that 
this cherished domination under which we wish to live 
and to die, to which we offer the remnants of our for- 
tunes, our blood, our children, and our families, is the 
domination of Louis the Well-beloved. 

' The colony of Louisiana was ceded to His Catholic 
Majesty by a private act passed at Fontainebleau on 
November 3, 1762, and accepted by another act passed 
at the Escurial on the thirteenth day following. 2 The 
King, in his letter written from Versailles, on April 21, 
1764, to M. d'Abbadie, then director-general and com- 
mandant for His Majesty in Louisiana, in announcing 
this cession to him, says he hopes at the same time for 
the advantage and tranquillity of the inhabitants of that 
colony, and that he promises himself, in consequence of 
the friendship and affection of His Catholic Majesty, 
that he will be pleased to give orders to his governor and 
to all other officers employed in his service in said colony, 
that the ecclesiastics and religious houses who attend to 
the parochial duties and to the missions should continue 
their functions there; that the ordinary judges should 
continue, as well as the Superior Council, to render jus- 
tice according to the laws, forms, and usages of the col- 
ony,- that the inhabitants be kept and maintained in their 
possessions; hoping besides that His Catholic Majesty 
will give to his new subjects in Louisiana the same marks 
of kindness and protection that were felt under the pre- 


ceding domination, and whose greater effects the mis- 
fortunes of war alone have prevented them from feeling; 
that he orders him, besides, to cause the present letter to 
be registered at the Superior Council of New Orleans, in 
order that the different estates of the colony be informed 
of its contents, and may have recourse to it if need be, 
the present letter being for no other end. Fortunate 
and consoling expectation which the promises of the 
most august and most respectable of monarchs caused to 
rise in our hearts, by what fatality have you vanished! 

" M. Ulloa arrived at the Balize on February 28, 1766, 
in a frigate of twenty guns, having about eighty sol- 
diers, three Spanish Capuchins, and persons of the ad- 
ministration. He debarked in the city on March 5, and, 
accompanied by the magistrates of the Council them- 
selves, who in spite of the rain and the storm had gone 
to his canoe, he passed between two rows formed by the 
regular troops and the militia, to the noise of cannon 
and public acclamation. He answered at first to such 
splendid testimonials with the most brilliant promises. 
But the results did not prove their solidity. Without 
entering into minute details of his private life, let us 
retrace the measures relative to the public cause. If he 
proposed to himself as his principal aim to destroy, by 
the force of his clandestine administration, the hopes 
with which we flattered ourselves, he has succeeded per- 

" To render clearer the first motive of our complaints, 
it is proper to observe that the trade that is carried on 
with the savage natives is one of the principal branches 


of commerce, of which the interest is so closely united 
here with that of the cultivator, that one is the spring of 
the other. This trade is a very advantageous outlet for 
the products of several manufactures, which will shortly 
spread hy encouragement. It is an ahundant mine, of 
which the opening presents riches, which promises treas- 
ures more valuable than those of Potosi, and so much the 
more considerable as the activity of the trade will dig 
deeper. From this exhaustless source arises the advan- 
tage of the public and of the individual. The mer- 
chant finds there a profitable sale for his goods; the la- 
borer, employed in these journeys and in this trade, gets 
there the means of subsisting and of amassing a compe- 
tency. The affection of the natives is kept up by fre- 
quent intercourse with the French, securing to them the 
results that necessarily follow from familiar acquain- 
tance. Public security at last, from which this trade with 
the barbarous nations that surround us has arisen, is pre- 
served by it. But this is not the only benefit that results 
from it for the colony in general. The ships from Eu- 
rope and the islands, attracted by the hope of an advan- 
tageous exchange, bring to us the provisions we need; 
and as they find in our stores peltries from which they 
hope to derive a profit, those goods are delivered to us 
at a fair price, which would be excessive if they must 
return in ballast. Those truths, those solid advantages, 
have been considered by our respected ministers, every 
time their precise orders have encouraged the traders 
by recommending the liberty of that commerce. The 
truth of this has been well recognized and expressly de- 


clared by Monseigneur the Duke de Choiseul in his let- 
ter to M. dAbbadie, dated February 9, 1765. All north 
of the Mississippi and all northwest of the Missouri were 
offered then to our activity. Innumerable nations, rich 
in rare peltries, who inhabit those unknown countries, 
would in a short time be secured for our manufactures 
solely. The discoveries to be made in these beautiful 
countries would be reserved for our efforts, and our eyes 
would pierce for the first time, for the profit of the uni- 
verse, that part of its globe which still remains to be 
known. What encouragement for us the intentions of 
this wise minister! We see him, with transports of grat- 
itude, not only lend himself to the reestablishment of 
our fortunes overthrown by the misfortunes of war, and 
the aggrandizement of our resources almost annihilated 
by the very conditions of peace, but also extend his views 
to geographical discoveries, and trace to us in the same 
picture the route to fortune and to glory; splendid pro- 
ject which M. Ulloa had deranged and which he would 
have overthrown without doubt! Let us not try to 
penetrate his motives, and let us confine ourselves to re- 
tracing the perseverance of his attempts against liberty 
of trade. They were manifested at first in the very 
place by a general prohibition. The planters and mer- 
chants of the Illinois have protested. They have ex- 
posed, in their representations to M. St. Ange, French 
commandant at the said place, the certainty of their ruin 
and the inevitable danger of being pillaged and perhaps 
slaughtered by the savages, who, not entering into po- 
litical considerations, wish to be provided with our mer- 


ehandise and to have a constant trade for their peltries. 
In spite of the repugnance of the Sieur Rios, a Spanish 
captain sent by M. Ulloa to the Illinois as commandant, 
the traders have gone again this year into the villages, 
with this difference, that they have been reduced to a cer- 
tain number; but it was the last effort of their expiring 
privileges, and M. Ulloa, at about the same time, granted 
to five or six individuals an exclusive trade in these coun- 
tries, recommended by our ministers for general compe- 

' The exploitation of the woods is another object that 
occupies here the merchant, whose interest we have just 
united so closely with that of the cultivator. In the rep- 
resentations made to the Superior Council of this prov- 
ince, it has been shown that this article was a traffic 
which exceeded five hundred thousand livres each year, 
and this truth has met with no contradiction. This traf- 
fic, which the nature of the country presents to each 
one with a benefit in proportion to the forces he may 
employ, but always certain in this degree of proportion, 
is the first effort of the planter who begins, and the ob- 
ject of the application of the one who has fortified him- 
self. Take away in Louisiana the freedom of trade, 
close the outlet for the sale of its lumber, and from that 
moment you reduce the merchant and the colonist to 
idleness and want. The ordinance published on Septem- 
ber 6, 1768, only threatened us with that danger. His 
Catholic Majesty, we were told, informed by M. Ulloa 
of all that concerned in this country supplies and traffic, 
wished again to favor the planters to such a point as to 


permit the traffic of their woods on he ships coming from 
Santo Domingo and Martinique, until means had been 
found of carrying on this commerce in Spain! It was 
plunging the dagger by degrees, and the great blow 
has been struck by the decree. In the first article, it is 
said that the cargoes will be taken only in the ports of 
Seville, Alicante, Carthagena, Malaga, Barcelona, Co- 
runna, etc. In the eighth, that the return cargoes will be 
taken in the same ports. In the third article, the ships 
that are sent to Louisiana will be of Spanish construction, 
and the captains and crews will be Spanish or natural- 
ized. Finally, in articles fourth and fifth, voluntary 
stopping in any port of America, even of the Spanish 
domination, is prohibited, and the forced stopping is 
submitted to verifications and onerous charges. Was 
there remaining to us, for the commerce of our woods 
in the French colonies of Santo Domingo and Marti- 
nique, the only places where they had any value, — was 
there remaining to us, I say, a gleam of the faintest 
hope? Imprudent censors, whose hardly serious reflec- 
tions might extend over our conduct in the present revo- 
lution, try, I consent to it, by your problematical combi- 
nations to recompose the interrupted harmony by making 
it agree with the decree; but think first of teaching us 
how to subsist. 

" Besides, what appearance of resource could suspend 
at least our just anxieties? The produce of our lands 
consists, and our commerce consists, in woods, indigo, pel- 
tries, tobacco, cotton, sugar, resin, and tar. Peltries have 
so much less value in Spain that they are little used there, 


and the preparation of those which are used is done in 
foreign countries. Havana and Peru furnish it sugars 
and lumber far preferable to ours; Guatemala, an indigo 
superior and in larger quantity than its factories need; 
Peru, Havana, and Campeachy, cotton; the Isle of 
Pines, resin and tar; Havana and the Spanish part of 
Santo Domingo, tobacco. Our products, inferior to 
those of her vast possessions, useless besides and super- 
abundant in its ports, are disdained there, or reduced 
to very little value. What feeble returns must we ex- 
pect from the exports that will be made of them in the 
ports to which the decree directs us! On the other hand, 
the few manufactures established in Spain, added to the 
little help which the maritime cities get from the inter- 
nal agriculture, compel the subjects of His Catholic Maj- 
esty who are established there to have recourse to the 
foreigner for their provisions of every kind. Marseilles 
furnishes wheat in these ports which could not supply 
themselves with the country itself without the excessive 
cost of a painful export through a mountainous region. 
The whole nation, besides, is tributary to all the manu- 
facturing countries of Europe, and the most signal favor 
that Providence has done it is to render it mistress of 
Peru and of Mexico, to purchase its first needs. Rich 
by our own industry, can we hope that Spain will supply 
our needs sufficiently and at moderate cost, when she is 
herself obliged to procure hers at great expense? In 
spite of the exemption, momentary perhaps, which the 
decree announces to us, from all duties to be imposed on 
goods destined to Louisiana, these sad truths, known by 


the entire universe, added to the certain discredit of our 
goods in the ports of Spain, have made us fear justly 
that our crops, although abundant, far from rewarding 
as formerly our application and our industry, by giving 
us superabundance, will cease to produce even the pure 
and simple necessities. 

" According to these observations, although they are 
superficial, yet with regard to the certainties from which 
they are deduced, can one doubt for a moment that this 
colony, as to its products, will be useless to Spain, and 
that the political views in the treaty of cession have been 
restricted to the sole purpose of making of it a bulwark 
to Mexico? But does the poverty of the colonists add 
any new force to this rampart? And by what folly 
should we undermine our reviving fortunes by destroy- 
ing the liberty of our commerce, when those same political 
views do not seem to require that sacrifice? Everything 
gives us cause to believe that His Catholic Majesty wished 
to be informed first, through the reports of his envoy, of the 
productive causes and the conservative means of our wel- 
fare. The promises of our King assured us of the good 
will of the new sovereign, and of the gentleness of the 
future domination. The officers of His Catholic Maj- 
esty announced to us, on their arrival, the continuation 
of our commerce at least for ten years ; the source of our 
needs, known in Spain without our having indicated it 
ourselves, still remained open to our activity; but have 
we been able to doubt, when we saw the decree, that M. 
Ulloa, intrusted with this report, — as the ordinance pub- 
lished here on September 6, 1766, declares to us, — is the 


Author of these imminent calamities, and that, having 
planned our ruin, his hardly truthful reports have turned 
aside the effects of that same good will which his mas- 
ter wished without doubt to show us? 

" It is vain to say that the last article of the decree per- 
mits us to extract from the ports of Spain the fruits and 
goods brought from Louisiana, to sell them in foreign 
countries, if there is no market for them in Spain, and 
that no export duty need be paid. In all that is pre- 
sented to us here, where is there any true advantage? 
Let us not count the articles of the decree, but let us 
take the spirit, and let us not read any of these articles 
without following the links that bind them so intimately 
the one to the other. True, it will be permitted to us to 
sell in foreign countries our goods and products which 
cannot be sold in Spain, but on what conditions? Our 
merchants, naturalized Spaniards, according to article 
3 of the decree, will be compelled to go to the ports of 
Seville and Malaga, and to pay the four per cent, ac- 
cording to article 12. Forced, by the want of sale for 
their goods, to leave those ports and go to the neighbor- 
ing countries, they will have to return in ballast to the 
ports of Spain, according to article 1, to take their cargo 
of fruits and goods already introduced into Spain, which 
will have paid the import duties according to article 7. 
Do those costly proceedings dispel our sorrowful reflec- 
tions upon the general famine that was threatening us? 
Let us add to that the cost of the ships, estimated by our 
chambers of commerce at three thousand livres every 
month for a ship of three hundred tons; that of unload- 


ing in the ports of Spain and reloading for the foreign 
countries ; the doubling of commission and insurance, the 
cost of storing, the increase of damages, the duties from 
which the neighboring countries will not excuse us on 
goods coming from Spain — and we shall see the decree 
as a great alembic rarefying our crops unto the fifth 

" The promises of our King, repeated in his letter of 
April 21, 1764, made us hope that we should always 
have the same laws to follow and the same judges to 
listen to. But what a breach was made in this article 
by M. Ulloa at the very beginning of his administration ! 
He has not yet taken possession ; his titles have been nei- 
ther verified nor registered, nor even presented; no bond 
attaches us yet to his authority; nothing but a respectful 
deference for the character with which one sees him 
clothed, promises to him our obedience; and severe pun- 
ishments, chastisements unknown under the French 
domination still existing, are inflicted already by his order 
for the lightest faults, — assuming that they are faults. 
One should not imagine that these false principles of 
administration and the sad novelties of an unknown dom- 
ination have been the only motives of our fears and of the 
alarm in our families. The law of Spain may have its 
pleasing features and advantages which we do not know ; 
but the antipathy against humanity and the natural dis- 
position to do harm, recognized in the person intrusted 
with presenting that law to us, make us feel its hardest 
consequences. The Spanish policy narrows the ports as 
much as possible, to close them at its will against stran- 


gers and to forbid them entirely to the interloper. In 
consequence of this law, the envoy of His Catholic Maj- 
esty has closed all the passes of the Mississippi, with 
the exception of one; but the one that he has chosen is 
the shallowest, the most difficult, and the most perilous. 
A law almost universal forbids establishments within 
a certain distance of the citadels and fortifications of 
frontier towns. M. Ulloa has concluded from this that 
establishments formed at the beginning of the colony, by 
concession of our prince, and under the eye of his gov- 
ernors, should no longer subsist, on account of the proxim- 
ity of an inclosure of stakes with which for some time 
the city has been closed. Condemnation to mines is pre- 
scribed by the law of Spain against malefactors and dan- 
gerous men. M. Ulloa has not hesitated to pronounce 
it against esteemed citizens, whose crime was no other 
than to have been the interpreters of their compatriots 
and the bearers of respectful representations declaring 
our needs, and tending only to the encouragement of our 
agriculture, the increase of our commerce, the importing 
of things needed by us, and the general good of the 
country. The packets that are remitted by worthy per- 
sons deserve so much more diligence and exactitude that 
they may interest the common cause. But those who have 
taken charge of them have never held themselves respon- 
sible for major force, contrary winds, and risks and 
perils of the sea. To what hard and vexatious treat- 
ments M. Ulloa subjected the Sieurs Gagnard and 
Gachon, because their ships had not been able to remit 
his packets at Havana on account of contrary weather! 


A decree of the Superior Council of this province had 
forbidden, for just and wise reasons, the introduction of 
domiciled negroes from Santo Domingo and other isl- 
ands; but the execution of it was reduced to visiting the 
slave ships on their arrival and sending back as soon as 
possible those who were prohibited. M. Ulloa had 
added to it the sequestration of the property, the im- 
prisonment of the persons, and, without any menacing 
ordinance, which should always precede the first punish- 
ments, he has enforced it against Cadis and Leblanc, 
whose sole crime was that they did not know of the ex- 
istence of this decree. These facts, which are of notoriety, 
and of which several persons have been the victims, in- 
terest the public cause more than one can imagine. To 
render the consequences better understood, we shall enter 
into a detail of several. 

"As for the interdiction of the passes of the Mississippi, 
it must be known that M. Ulloa, in spite of all that was 
told him and that he might have seen himself, or learned 
by unfortunate events, had persisted obstinately in open- 
ing only the pass northeast, where there is, in the highest 
tides, only nine to ten feet of water ; forbidding that any 
ship should enter or go out by any other pass, of which 
the depth is usually from ten to twelve feet. To this pro- 
bibition, which is so troublesome and so perilous, he had 
added another that was still more so. This was the pro- 
hibition to the pilots to sleep on board the vessels an- 
chored in front of the pass, which the winds and the 
want of water prevented them from entering. From 
this arose repeated inconveniences and accidents, which, 


however, did not make him change his first arrangement. 
The first inconvenience was the delay to the ships that 
were going out, a delay costly and frequent at all times, 
hut almost inevitable in winter, when the north-northeast 
winds are frequent, which cannot serve for the northeast 
pass, while they not only hring the ships out of the east 
pass, but set them on their journey without their having 
to wait after getting out of the pass. There was similar 
difficulty in entering: when the winds were southwest and 
south-southwest, one could not enter by the northeast 
pass; those winds were favorable to the east pass. Be- 
sides, as the Spanish officer at the Balize compelled the 
ships that had entered the river to anchor in front of the 
houses of the Balize, an anchorage exposed to all winds 
and of little depth, there were great risks, which might 
have been avoided by anchoring at Lafourche, or by con- 
tinuing up the river, according to the former custom, 
which was not more favorable to those against whom one 
might have wished to close the port. Besides, in all 
countries, when a coast pilot has set foot on board a ship, 
he does not leave it before the ship has come in or gone 
out, and is placed in safety ; the pilot navigating day and 
night, according to the requirements of the case and the 
vicissitudes of the weather. If this rule is ever to be 
inviolate, without doubt it should be in our regions, sur- 
rounded with low lands, and near a large river of which 
the bottom is of mud in one place, of sand in another, 
where from one hour to another the winds change and 
the waters increase or diminish. Therefore, when the 
pilots were prohibited from sleeping on board, in a sud- 


den gust of wind, and at night, a captain who was not 
familiar with the place, knowing neither the bottom nor 
the passes, had no resource. Obliged to get under sail, 
and often to abandon his anchors and his cables, he would 
encounter the neighboring reefs, called the ' sheep,' or at 
least fall under the wind of the pass, without hope of 
going up for a long time. Finally, if he had the good 
luck to sail, he would come back, after a great deal of 
time and trouble, only to meet the same dangers. 

" Navigation, that art so useful to states, does it de- 
serve then that one should help nature to increase its 
troubles and its perils? The fortune of ship-owners and 
the lives of sailors, are they so little precious that the 
caprice of one man should subject them to dangers al- 
most inevitable? Question the captains and the crews 
from Europe and the islands, who have come here for 
the past two years and a half ; all have seen the new perils 
invented by M. Ulloa; several have been the objects 
and the victims of his bad combinations. Without men- 
tioning the many examples, the accident to Captain Sar- 
ron, at the mouth of the river, is striking. After re- 
maining for a long time without being able to go out by 
the northeast pass, the winds being north and north- 
northeast, he entered the pass at last, the winds having 
changed ; but the weather had lowered the depth to such 
an extent that he remained in the pass. He was fortu- 
nate enough to get back into the river. He went up to 
the city to careen his ship a second time. Note that the 
city is thirty leagues from the mouth of the river, that 
one is often obliged to pull ships up the river with ropes, 


and that it happened several times that it took fifty or 
sixty days to reach the city. The Sieur Sarron lost his 
trip. It cost him a great deal, and if the east pass had not 
heen forbidden, and it had heen allowed to pilots to fre- 
quent it, he would have gone out without delay and with- 
out danger. 

"But at the very time when we are writing this Me- 
morial, the trumpet announces to us that the rigging 
and the artillery of the vessel Carlota, from Rochelle, 
almost buried in the sands, are being sold at auction. 
Captain Lacoste would not be lamenting the loss of his 
ship if, when he was ready to enter, he had been per- 
mitted at night to keep on board the pilot, who, not 
being able to put him in the passes, would have indicated 
to him a mud bottom from which he could have extricated 
himself, as it happened to several, and among others to 
Captain Chouriac. 

" A x"ew persons make brick, which is used and con- 
sumed here. The three principal brickyards are at the 
three principal gates of this city. One of the largest, 
where several men are employed, is the patrimony of 
four minors, and is rented sometimes for more than 
twelve thousand livres a year. This land can produce 
no other revenue, and the men cannot produce enough 
to feed them. The city, besides, feels no inconvenience 
from the brickyards, and as the lands from which the 
necessary clay is drawn are far from the highway, the 
public road is neither narrowed nor embarrassed. M. 
Ulloa attacked first the judicial tenant of this brickyard, 
and absolutely forbade him to continue work under 


penalty of seizure of negroes, oxen, carts, and utensils. 
The interested parties, after many efforts, succeeded 
finally in obtaining from him the reason of this prohibi- 
tion. He said that the holes from which the clay was 
taken tended to destroy the salubrity of the air. They 
provided themselves, to dissuade him, with reports of 
physicians and surgeons. M. Lebeau, doctor of medi- 
cine, in the pay of His Majesty, has even given on that 
subject learned observations, convincing on every point. 
As for the ordinary reflections, they were that the coun- 
try had always been very healthful in spite of the holes 
of the brickyards and the cypress swamps, which are on 
both sides of the river, and surround the city; that, ac- 
cording to that system, it would be necessary also to fill 
the swamps, where the waters remain during the greater 
part of the year. M. Ulloa had doubtless not foreseen 
these objections, but he imagined and adopted another, 
which he believed to be unanswerable; it is, that the es- 
tablishments should be removed from the fortifications, 
—giving this name to an inclosure of wooden spikes 
which has nothing secret, and the approach to which is 
without consequence. The affair, however, has dragged 
along without any one being able to obtain from him 
either a written order to cease or a verbal permission to 
continue; and several persons have thought, with reason, 
that brickmaking was coveted by one or two individuals, 
which agreed very well with the inclination of the Span- 
ish envoy to reduce everything to exclusive privileges. 

" This indomitable inclination was manifested still 
more in the prohibition that he made last year, of bring- 


ing negroes into this colony, on the pretext of a competi- 
tion that would have been harmful to an English mer- 
chant of Jamaica, who had sent a boat to M. Ulloa to 
win his favor for the enterprise of furnishing slaves. 
This was a blow both at commerce and at agriculture. 
It was taking away from the merchant a considerable 
object, and restricting the means of the colonist to 
fortify himself; for this competition, harmful to the 
English dealer, became advantageous to the planter, who 
would have given the preference to the cheapness and 
better constitution of the slaves. What then! Take away 
from new subjects the most natural means of profit, to 
gratify a stranger with them! Is it thus that a new ad- 
ministration announces itself? Has M. Ulloa received 
these orders from his master? Who would dare presume 
it? But is not one tempted to believe that vile reasons 
of interest entered into the order of his exclusive pro- 

" Our governors and magistrates have always been re- 
garded by us as our fathers. Every time we thought 
we should make to them our very humble representations 
on our particular needs or on the general interest, we 
were favorably received. If we address ourselves to the 
governors and commandants, far from regarding us as 
rebellious and mutinous (a favorite expression of M. 
Ulloa), they approve our action as conforming to the 
sentiment of the tine citizen. We have a proof of this 
in the answer of M. Aubry, on June 28, 1765, to the 
Memoir of the merchants of New Orleans. He dispels 
our anxieties. Being the agent of the minister with re- 


gard to us, he communicates to us the orders he has re- 
ceived from him, and gives us a copy of the letters he has 
written in consequence to the officers of the posts. He 
ends by encouraging us, and by asking from us a recip- 
rocal zeal. If we address ourselves to the Council, our 
memorials are examined there; if our requests appear 
just, the voice of the attorney-general seconds ours, and 
the court deliberates afterward. The event of the 29th 
of October is a recent proof of this. Royal promises 
made us hope for the same gentleness, the same liberty, 
the same privileges in the new government. But, very 
far from assuring us of the continuation of them, M. 
Ulloa did not wish to allow even the appearances to sub- 
sist any longer. The ordinance published on September 
6, 1766, caused the merchants to make representations 
which they addressed to their magistrates. M. Ulloa 
treated them as seditious without knowing them; and 
although our judges, through condescension, would have 
suspended their judgment, he thought he should attempt 
to make an example capable of frightening in advance 
any one who should dare to say anything about his needs 
or his interests. Merchants from this place, whom with- 
out doubt he believed to be the principal authors of these 
representations, attached to the country by their family, 
their credit, their commerce, and their entire fortune, saw 
themselves threatened with confiscation of their property 
and imprisonment of their persons, — a judgment which 
must have emanated from the sole tribunal of M. Ulloa, 
and the effects of which they avoided with trouble. 
" But who was, then, this officer of His Catholic Maj- 

1768] ORDINANCE OF 1766 197 

esty? With what commission Mas he provided? With 
what unheard-of privilege was he clothed, to exercise 
such a tyrannical authority, even before he had shown 
his authority or his titles, which we do not yet know? 
A confused rumor tells us that, during the long stay 
which he made at the Balize with M. Aubry, our com- 
mandant, there was passed between them an act under 
private seal. If that is true, what has been his political 
principle in not rendering this act public, and in not de- 
claring his rank, unless it be to mask his tyranny under 
cover of the French domination? 

" The term tyranny appears strong. Let us add to it 
that of vexation, to correspond with the truth of the 
facts. With what threatening pomp, when at the same 
time he was receiving from us only marks of a blind sub- 
mission, have we seen him present with one hand the first 
fruits of the new law, and the avenging sword of the 
other ordinance of September 6, 1766, — first decree of 
his will that has been published here, where the august 
name of His Majesty has been abusively employed. 
This ordinance, I say, has been promulgated in our pub- 
lic places, to the sound of the drum and at the head of 
twenty Spanish soldiers armed with rifles and bayonets. 
Was it to insult us, or to impose silence upon our mur- 
murs? In the first case, what would he then have done, this 
Ulloa, in a conquered city captured by storm? What 
display would he have chosen to proclaim his ordinances 
there, since he has used a similar one with friends and 
allies? Did he take us for savages of Peru and Mexico? 
In the second case, the envoy from Spain was not igno- 


rant of the fact that this ordinance, fruit of his erroneous 
relations, was diametrically opposed to our welfare, and 
capable at first sight of exciting our murmurs. As he 
is loaded with our hatred, which he has so justly deserved, 
his nation may reproach him again with having failed in 
the rules of policy, by forcing us to fear the Spanish gov- 

" With indignation we have seen him negotiate with an 
Englishman for the liberty of four Germans for fifteen 
dollars a head; and when, on the day of the revolution, 
M. Aubry, our commandant, urged by our prayers and 
our entreaties, demanded them again with authority, we 
saw those new freedmen descend from the Spanish frig- 
ate where their new master detained them, and throAv 
themselves on the levee at the knees of their liberators. 
We saw those unfortunate victims of the scourge of 
war, those persevering citizens, who have sacrificed their 
hereditary possessions to patriotic sentiment, those un- 
fortunate Acadians who, received formerly in our ports, 
protected by our commandants and our judges, were be- 
ginning to be consoled for their disasters and were labor- 
ing to repair them, — we saw them frightened by the fren- 
zied wrath of M. Ulloa, for such a slight subject as 
very humble representations. Trembling at his threats, 
they believed the liberty of their families at stake, and 
they thought they saw themselves sold at auction to 
pay for the rations of the King. Are we at Fez, or at 
Morocco ? 

" What has he not done, finally, this singular man, in 
the acts even of private life? What humiliation did not 


the French nation receive from him during his stay here, 
not only hy the violation of the rights of persons, but 
also by scorn for the ecclesiastical laws? Besides ab- 
staining from frequenting our churches, — through dis- 
dain, without doubt, for the French Catholics, — and hav- 
ing mass celebrated in his house, he has again caused 
his chaplain to confer the sacrament of marriage upon 
two persons, of whom the woman was a negro slave and 
the man white, without the permission of the curate, 
without any publication of banns, without any form or 
solemnity required by the church, contrary to the Council 
of Trent, and contrary to the precise disposition of all 
ordinances, civil as well as canonical. 

" What would be reprehensible, then, in the decision 
which the conduct and the vexations of M. Ulloa have 
made us take? What wrong have we done in shaking 
off a foreign yoke, which the hand that imposed it ren- 
dered still more overwhelming? What wrong have we 
done, finally, in claiming back our laws, our country, our 
sovereign, to vow to him the perseverance of our love? 
Are, then, those praiseworthy attempts without an ex- 
ample in our history? More than one town of France, 
provinces even, — Quercy, Rouergue, Gascony, Cahors, 
Montauban, — have they not several times broken the 
English yoke with fury, or refused their fetters with 
constancy? In vain did the treaties, the cessions, the or- 
ders even renewed of our kings attempt sometimes what 
the fortune of English arms was nevertheless incapable 
of achieving; and that noble resistance to the will of the 
natural sovereigns, far from exciting their anger, has 


awakened their tenderness, attracted their assistance, and 
effected a complete deliverance. 

" But, furthermore, of what use to Spain would be 
the colony of Louisiana? Inferior in its products to the 
rich countries that Spain possesses, our country could 
only be a rampart for Mexico. Would this rampart be 
impenetrable to the forces of His Britannic Majesty, 
who, already master of the country east of the Missis- 
sippi, would share the navigation of the river with Spain, 
and who has establishments to which the access is not 
alone by the mouth of the river, but also by the immediate 
proximity of the other countries of the north, where his 
domination is established? 

" The keeping of this colony by France protects better 
the possessions of Spain on this side than the cession 
made to that crown. The disadvantageous impressions 
of Spain already received by the savage nations, which 
have drawn upon M. Rios, Spanish captain, comman- 
dant at the Illinois, not only insults, but threats, would 
range the savages, in case of attack, with the hostile 
party. On the contrary, those peoples would always 
march with the French soldier, without asking for whom 
one wishes to fight. That is the true rampart. 

" Since Spain can find no advantage in the acquisi- 
tion of this immense province, and since, certainly, the 
strict limits of her commerce would reduce us almost to 
mere existence, why should the two sovereigns agree to 
render us unfortunate through the sole pleasure of doing 
so? It is a crime to believe it, and such sentiments do 
not enter the hearts of kings. The protection that ours 


promises us in his letter of April 21, 1764, from the new 
sovereign, shows that they were conspiring for our hap- 
piness ; and the respectful silence that we have kept thus 
far on the reality of our interests, has without douht 
prevented them from attaining the true means that might 
make us happy. As for the utility that this colony may 
be to France, a little reflection renders it apparent. The 
loss of Canada having closed that outlet to the manufac- 
tures with which France abounds, the preservation of 
Louisiana may repair in a short time a loss so hurtful 
to the national industry. The efforts of the true French- 
men established here, and those who come every day to 
establish themselves, may easily increase this trade of the 
Missouri, opened already with happy results, and to the 
aggrandizement of which are lacking the encourage- 
ment and aid which the French domination alone can 
procure. Even the savages from Canada come every 
day to trade at the Illinois for French goods, which they 
prefer to those that the English carry to their villages. 
Let one cease to forge shackles for our activity, and soon 
the English will cease to sell to France the peltries she con- 
sumes. Our manufacturers, in exporting them, will find 
an assured sale, which will bring profit ; and in the peltries 
— to which may be added our indigo, our sugar, our cotton 
— they will have the raw material that feeds factories 
and gives work to laborers. If, then, the ability for man- 
ufactures in the kingdom is so well recognized that it 
has drawn to them at all times a particular protection 
from the sovereign, is it not in the political order that 
this protection be extended to preserve for them re- 


sources for which it would use perhaps the power of the 
state, if it were a question of acquiring them? 

" Join to these considerations the reimbursement — sus- 
pended since 1759 — of the seven millions of royal paper 
that formed our currency and the basis of our commerce ; 
join the union by reciprocal obligations of the merchants 
of France to us and of us to the merchants of France, 
who await their fate from that which it may please the 
lord our King to give to these finances ; add to it our ob- 
ligation to work for the reestablishment of our shattered 
fortunes, without being able to get any aid from those 
old funds, shares formerly of any one in proportion to 
his economy, his emulation, or his patrimony, — and it 
will be seen that our new efforts deserve to be seconded 
by our King. 

" As we are zealous observers of all the respect due 
to crowned heads, and of the mutual attentions that civil- 
ized peoples owe to each other, we should be in despair 
if our deeds were not to conform to them. There is no- 
thing offensive to the Court of Madrid in the exposition 
of our needs and in the assurances of our love which we 
carry to the feet of our august sovereign. We dare hope 
that those marks of our zeal will serve again to prove 
to nations the truth of the title ' Well-beloved ' which the 
entire world gives to him, and which no other monarch 
has enjoyed until now. Perhaps one will say at Madrid 
even: ' Happy this prince our ally, who finds for obstacle 
to his treaty of cession the attachment of his subjects to 
his domination and to his glorious person!' 


" We are not ignorant that the envoy from Spain took, 
hefore his departure, and is still gathering through emis- 
saries, certificates from some individuals who reside 
among us; mercenary clients whom he attached to him- 
self by brilliant promises, and who are here seeking to 
proselyte by persuading the simple and frightening the 
weak. But whatever these hardly authentic certificates 
may contain, they will never belie the general voice and 
public notoriety. The Genoese, English, and Dutch 
merchants, witnesses of the revolution, will testify to the 
truth in their country. They will certify, in a much more 
certain manner, that our pavilion rose, without the Span- 
ish frigate having received the least insult to its own; 
that M. Ulloa embarked with all the liberty possible 
and without any act on our part that appeared even im- 
proper; that then and since we have redoubled our cour- 
tesies and attentions toward the other officers of His 
Catholic Majesty; that during the three days of the rev- 
olution (a thing unique and singular, by the avowal of 
the Spaniards themselves) there rose not from among 
more than twelve hundred men of the militia, among the 
women, the children, the whole people, any cry injurious 
to the nation, and the oidy cries that were heard, in which 
the strangers themselves took part, were: ' Long live the 
King of France! ' ' Long live Louis the Well-beloved! ' 

" It is to His beneficent Majesty that we, planters, 
merchants, and colonists of Louisiana, address our very 
humble prayers that he should take back the colony in- 
stantlv; and as we are resolved to live and to die under 


his cherished domination, determined to do all that may 
he required for the prosperity of his arms, the extension 
of his power, the glory of his reign, we beg him to be 
willing to preserve to us our patriotic name, our laws, and 
our privileges. 

" At New Orleans, 

"At Denis Braud's, Printer to the King. 

" With permission of the Ordaining Commissioner. 

We have given in full the translation of the Memo- 
rial of 1768 on account of its interest and importance. 
It is a noble document, and it does honor to the men of 
that time. We can understand their indignation at being 
rudely torn from their country and harassed by unwise 
commercial ordinances issued by a man who had never 
publicly shown his commission as governor for Spain. 
We see in this Memorial hatred for the foreigner, and 
a spirit of independence combined with great love for 
France. The eulogy of the King appears fulsome to us ; 
but we should remember that the colonists had been 
brought up to venerate their monarch, and they were 
at too great a distance from the mother country to be 
able to understand thoroughly the despicable character 
of Louis XV. The last words of the Memorial are very 
pathetic, and we should have sympathy for men who are 
praying for the preservation of their patriotic name, of 
their laws and their privileges. 

On page 17 of the Memorial 3 were words insulting to 
the Spanish nation: "... M. Ulloa, loaded with our 


hatred, which he has so justly deserved. Cannot his nation 
reproach him with having failed in the rides of the Span- 
ish policy, which, gentle and insinuating in the beginning, 
becomes tyrannical only when the yoke has been im- 
posed? " Aubry had these words erased, and caused three 
hundred copies to be suppressed, which had already been 
printed with the permission of Foucault. 


O'Reilly in Louisiana — The Martyrs of the 
Revolution of 1768 

Ulloa's account of the Revolution of 1768— True motive of the opposition 
to Ulloa — Return of Lesassier— The republican spirit in the colony — 
General O'Reilly's arrival— O'Reilly takes possession— O'Reilly asks of 
Aubry the names of the conspirators — Aubry acts as informer — Aubry's 
account of Lafr£niere's doings— Aubry's account of the Revolution — 
Aubry names the conspirators — His contemptible letter — Arrest of the 
chiefs of the Revolution — Death of Viller^ — Bossu's account of Viller£'s 
death— Character of Viller6 — O'Reilly's proclamation— O'Reilly's address 
to the conspirators— The property of the prisoners confiscated— The in- 
habitants take the oath of allegiance— Aubry's report to the French min- 
ister—His tragic death— Testimony against Foucault— He is released— Act 
of accusation against the prisoners— Part taken in the conspiracy by each 
of the prisoners — Sentence — The execution — Burning of the "Memorial 
of the Planters and Merchants" — No excuse for O'Reilly's cruelty — O'Reilly 
went beyond his instructions — Release of Petit and other prisoners from 
Morro Castle— Bienville de Noyan at Santo Domingo — End of the drama. 

Orleans on November 1, 1768, ar- 
rived at Havana on December 3, 
and immediately departed for Ca- 
diz. His account of the events 
leading to his expulsion from Lou- 
isiana is very interesting. He re- 
lates that the conspirators met at the house of a 
widow named Pradel, on a plantation adjoining New 
Orleans. He speaks bitterly of Lafreniere, and 
says the latter was the author of the celebrated Me- 



morial of the inhabitants on the event of October 29, 
1768. He speaks of a journey of Bienville and Masan 
to Pensacola to ask aid of the British governor in erect- 
ing the colony into a republic under the protection of 
England. He declares that Villere and Lery, relatives 
of Lafreniere, had influenced the old Chevalier d'Arens- 
bourg, commandant at the German Coast, and that the 
latter had determined to defend liberty and not be a sub- 
ject of the King of Spain. He says also that Lafreniere 
and Foucault took advantage of the discontent caused by 
the decree about commerce to excite the merchants against 
the Spanish domination. 

It is but natural that Ulloa should have wished to lay 
all the blame for the Revolution of 1768 on the people of 
Louisiana; but he certainly mistook their motive when he 
attributed their opposition to him to discontent caused by 
commercial decrees. All the colonists were animated by 
the spirit of the old D'Arensbourg: they wished to defend 
liberty, and would not submit to a foreign yoke. One of 
their delegates, St. Lette, remained in France, but the 
other, Lesassier, returned to Louisiana and announced, 
as Milhet had done previously, the failure of his mission. 
The deputies, however, had obtained, says Martin, " an 
arrest of the King's council of the 23d of March, which 
is believed to be the last act of the French government 
concerning Louisiana." It referred to the payment of 
the bills emitted by the colonial government. 

At the very moment of Ulloa's expulsion the Spanish 
government seemed inclined to take possession of the 
colony in a more determined manner, and Urissa, who 


had been appointed intendant of Louisiana, had arrived 
at Havana with eight hundred soldiers destined for the 
new Spanish colony, and was to carry there one million 
dollars for the King's service. Gayarre believes that the 
Revolution would not have taken place if Urissa had 
reached Louisiana with the soldiers and the million of the 
King of Spain. We do not share this opinion; for, as 
Louis had disowned his subjects in Louisiana, the die was 
cast. The colonists wished no longer to submit to any des- 
pot, and they formed the plan of a republic on the banks 
of the Mississippi. Gayarre himself has said: " There 
is no doubt that the colonists would have eagerly adopted 
this form of government, had it been possible at the time, 
for it must be recollected that, from the earliest existence 
of the colony, almost all its governors had uniformly com- 
plained of the republican spirit which they had observed 
in the inhabitants." Our ancestors were evidently mis- 
taken in their noble efforts, and their plan was but a 
dream; for how were they to resist the power of the 
King of Spain, with a population of fewer than twelve 
thousand souls, of whom half were slaves ? But they gave 
Louisiana the glory of having thought of establishing a 
republican form of government in America several years 
before Jefferson wrote his immortal Declaration of In- 
dependence, which gave birth to our United States. 

When the news of the events of October, 1768, reached 
Spain, it was decided by the Council of the King that 
the authority of His Catholic Majesty should be main- 
tained and troops be sent to subdue the insurgents. Don 
Alejandro O'Reilly was appointed governor and captain- 


general of the province, and he arrived at the Balize on 
July 23, on a frigate accompanied by twenty-three trans- 
ports, having three thousand soldiers on board. 1 O'Reilly 
sent Don Francisco Bouligny to announce his arrival to 
Aubry, and the news was received by the inhabitants with 
consternation. " Resistance was spoken of," says Martin, 
but it was finally resolved to send three delegates to 
O'Reilly; they were Lafreniere, Marquis, and Milhet. 
The attorney-general, the valiant Lafreniere, spoke to 
General O'Reilly with great dignity, and assured him 
of the submission of the colony to the orders of the Kings 
of France and Spain. He added: " We beg your Ex- 
cellency not to consider it a country to be conquered. The 
orders of which you are the bearer are sufficient to put 
you in possession, and make more impression on hearts 
than the arms which you have in your hand. . . . The 
colony claims of your kindness privileges, and of your 
equity sufficient delays for those who shall desire to emi- 
grate." 2 O'Reilly replied that he would do all in his 
power to learn the truth, and that he should be in despair 
if he did the least harm to any one. He said he would 
have gone up the river as far as the Illinois to have the 
banner of his King respected, and he asked the three rep- 
resentatives of the colonists how they, a handful of men, 
could have believed that they were able to resist one of 
the most powerful kings in Europe, and that their King 
could have listened to the cries of a seditious people. 

At the word " seditious," Marquis interrupted the gen- 
eral and explained the conduct of the colonists. O'Reilly 
answered him with gentleness, and said he would listen 



to them with pleasure when the time should come. He 
invited them to take dinner with him, " treated them," 
says Bouligny, " with all the politeness possible, and sent 
them away full of admiration for his talents, and with 
good hopes for the oblivion of their past faults." 

Lafreniere, Marquis, and Milhet reported O'Reilly's 
words to their countrymen, and all were quieted. The 
men who had already taken up arms and gone to New 
Orleans returned home, and several persons who had in- 
tended to leave the colony decided to remain. 

On August 15, 1769, Aubry went to pay his respects 
to O'Reilly and to take his orders with regard to the 
ceremony of taking possession of the province. In the 
night of August 17, the frigate on board of which was the 
general was moored at the quay of New Orleans with 
twenty-three other ships. On the eighteenth, at noon, 
Aubry caused the rally to be beat, and the French troops 
and the militia formed on one side of the public square, 
facing the vessels. At half -past five the frigate fired a 
salute, General O'Reilly landed, and three thousand sol- 
diers marched in columns from the ships and formed 
rapidly on the other three sides of the square. Aubry 
placed himself at the head of his troops, in the presence 
of all the inhabitants, to receive the general, who came 
to him and asked him to read to the people the orders 
and powers which he had communicated to the French 
commandant. The latter did so, and delivered the fol- 
lowing address : 

Gentlemen: You have just heard the sacred orders of their 
Majesties — Most Christian and Catholic— with regard to the 


province of Louisiana, which has been ceded irrevocably to the 
Crown of Spain. From this moment you are the subjects of His 
Catholic Majesty, and in virtue of the orders of the King, my 
master, I release you from the oath of fidelity which you owed to 
His Most Christian Majesty. 

Aubry then handed to O'Reilly the keys of the gates 
of New Orleans, and immediately volleys were fired by 
the Spanish frigate and by all the troops, and cries of 
' Vive le roi ! " were heard on all sides. The posts were all 
relieved, and the Spanish flag was raised at each one. 
; ' We went afterward to the church," says Aubry, " and 
after having attended a Te Deum, this memorable day 
and august ceremony ended with the march of all the 
troops, who defiled before us with a redoubtable order 
and pomp." 

On August 19, O'Reilly went with his staff to pay his 
official visit to the French commandant. On the same 
day he wrote him a letter to ask of him an account of 
what had taken place in the colony in October, 1768, and 
Aubry had the weakness or the cowardice to act as in- 
former against his own countrymen. It was not neces- 
sary that he should give any information to O'Reilly. 
As soon as the latter had taken possession of Louisiana 
in the name of Spain, Aubry's duties as governor ceased, 
and he should have tried to protect men whose sole 
crime was that they had made earnest efforts to remain 
Frenchmen. Posterity must certainly judge Aubry very 
severely for his conduct at the time of the Revolution of 
1768, and until his departure from Louisiana in 1769. 
Already, on February 15, 1769, he had written to the 
Captain-General of Cuba: " I hope that M. d'Ulloa ren- 


ders me justice, and that he will have given a good testi- 
mony of my conduct; for no one more than I venerates 
and loves the Spanish nation. This revolution dishonors 
the French people of Louisiana." 

In his letter to Aubry asking for information, O'Reilly 

It is very essential that I should know the person who wrote 
and printed, and with what authority were printed and spread 
among the public, the document bearing the title : " Decree 
of the Council," dated October 29, 1768, and the other bear- 
ing the title : " Memorial of the Inhabitants of Louisiana on 
the event of October 29, 1768," as all the clauses of the two 
documents require my attention. I have entire confidence in your 
information, and I beg you again to omit no circumstance about 
the men and the things concerning this conspiracy. 

On August 20, 1769, 3 Aubry answered O'Reilly's let- 
ter and gave him a full account of the events of October, 
1768. He named as the chiefs of " this criminal enter- 
prise": Masan, Lafreniere, Marquis, Noyan, Bienville, 
and Villere, " all the wealthiest and most distinguished 
in the country." He said that Foucault was very guilty, 
and that he led the people to believe that, in the colonies, 
the governors from Spain were tyrants and the people 
slaves. Aubry said further: " The hatred generally felt 
against M. Ulloa, and the copy of a decree of His 
Catholic Majesty, which deprives this colony of the com- 
merce of the French islands, have been in great part the 
cause of the revolt. The planters feared they would not 
be able any longer to sell their indigo or their lumber; 
the merchants foresaw the fall of their commerce; the 


Council feared to be suppressed; all together leagued 
themselves to send away the governor, and to free them- 
selves from the Spanish domination." 

Aubry added that the secret of the conspiracy was so 
well kept that he sent for M. de Lafreniere, who told 
him that a request, addressed to M. Foucault, had been 
signed, asking him to call an extraordinary meeting of 
the Council, in order to send away M. d'Ulloa and the 
Spaniards who had accompanied him. Lafreniere added 
that everybody was taking up arms, and that a banner 
was to be raised in the public square at New Orleans. 
Aubry told Lafreniere that he should oppose the move- 
ment, and that much blood would be spilled. He sent 
Judice, commandant of the Acadians, to order the latter 
not to take up arms, under penalty of being treated as 
rebels; and he asked Foucault what he intended to do. 
The commissary replied with ambiguity, and Aubry 
told him that he would be utterly lost if he did not oppose 
such a rebellion. On October 27, Governor Ulloa said 
that, as he had not sufficient force, he would submit to 
the decision of the Council, in order to avoid the effusion 
of French and Spanish blood. Aubry sent for Lafre- 
niere and several militia officers, and they promised that 
everything would be countermanded and that only depu- 
ties from each organization should appear before the 
Council. On October 28, " I heard," said Aubry, " that 
the cannon which were at the Tchoupitoulas gate had been 
spiked, from fear that I should fire on the planters who 
were to come from that side. On the same day I called 
M. de Lafreniere to my house; I represented to him that 


he would have to reproach himself for the ruin of his 
country I told him, at the same time, that chiefs of con- 
spiracies had always had tragic ends." 

In the evening of October 28, in spite of Aubry's 
orders, Villere entered the city at the head of four hun- 
dren Germans, Acadians, and other militiamen; the 
militia below New Orleans entered also, and everything 
was in commotion. Aubry then advised Ulloa to retire 
with his wife, that same evening, on board the Spanish 
frigate. On October 29 nearly a thousand persons as- 
sembled in the public square, with a white banner, crying, 
"Vive le roi de France!" and wishing no other king. 
Aubry went to the meeting of the Council and protested 
against the order of expulsion of Ulloa. Marquis, with 
fifty militiamen, had decided to accompany Ulloa to 
the Balize, and to stay there to oppose all Spaniards who 
might come. Aubry ordered them to desist from their 
undertaking, or he would fire upon them, and he was 
obeyed " for the first time," says he, " since the revolt." 

" A thousand mad projects," continued Aubry, " suc- 
ceeded one another; there was a design of erecting this 
country into a republic; a petition was presented to the 
Council to establish a bank like those of Amsterdam and 
Venice, for these are the identical terms which they used. 
M. de Lafreniere is the author of the petition. The Sieur 
Doucet composed the Memorial of the planters." Aubry, 
then, in his letter, spoke severely of Marquis, Villere, and 
Masan, and said that by most audacious writings and 
most rebellious talk the conspirators had resorted to every 
means to excite the people and give them a horror of the 


Spanish government. He concluded his letter with these 
words: " I shall communicate to your Excellency the 
decrees, the memorials, and all the documents of iniqui- 
ties which were fabricated in those times of confusion and 
disorder. I shall deliver the protests which I have made 
against these acts of injustice. My conduct will be laid 
before the judge the most equitable and the most en- 
lightened. His approval, which I dare flatter myself I 
have merited, will be the greatest honor and the finest 
recompense that I shall ever be able to receive." It was 
impossible to write anything more contemptible, more 
cringing, more cowardly than the letter of Aubry to 

On August 21, 1769, O'Reilly caused to be arrested 
Lafreniere, Noyan, and Boisblanc, members of the Coun- 
cil, and Braud, the printer, while these gentlemen were 
attending a reception at the governor's house. 4 Shortly 
afterward he arrested also Marquis, a former officer; 
Doucet, a lawyer; Petit and Masan, planters; Carresse, 
Poupet, and Jean and Joseph Milhet, all four merchants. 
Joseph Villere, whom O'Reilly wished also to arrest, was 
on his plantation on the German Coast, and was about 
to go to the English possessions, when he received a letter 
from Aubry saying that he had nothing to fear from 
O'Reilly, and that he could come to New Orleans in per- 
fect safety. Bossu, who was a contemporary of Villere, 
describes the latter 's death in the following manner: " M. 
de Villere, confiding in this assurance, descended the river 
to go to New Orleans. What was his surprise when, on 
presenting himself at the barriers, he found himself ar- 




rested! Sensitive to this outrage, he could not moderate 
his indignation. In a first transport, he struck the Span- 
ish officer who commanded the post. The latter's soldiers 
threw themselves upon him, and pierced him with bayo- 
nets. He was carried on board a frigate that was in the 
port, where he died a few days afterward." 

Judge Martin gives a different account of Villere's 
death. He says, like Bossu, that Villere received a letter 
from Aubry reassuring him and advising him to return 
to the city. On arriving at the gate, he was arrested and 
sent on board a frigate in the river. His wife approached 
the frigate in a boat, and was ordered away. " She made 
herself known, and solicited admission to her husband, 
but was answered that she could not see him, as the cap- 
tain was on shore, and had left orders that no communi- 
cation should be allowed with the prisoner. Villere rec- 
ognized his wife's voice, and insisted on being permitted 
to see her. On this being refused, a struggle ensued, in 
which he fell, pierced by the bayonets of his guards. His 
bloody shirt, thrown into the boat, announced to the lady 
that she had ceased to be a wife; and a sailor cut the 
rope that fastened the boat to the frigate." 

Martin's narrative is very dramatic, but Bossu's ac- 
count is more likely to be the true one. Champigny, 
also a contemporary of Villere, gives about the same ac- 
count as Bossu, and adds: 5 " None could be braver than 
Villere. Canadian by origin, he had everything: valor, 
fortitude, and freedom of mind; violent and fiery, but 
frank, loyal, and firm in his resolves. He was of good 
size, well made, his step firm, his look bold and martial, 
his devotion to his King rather a frenzy than a form of 


patriotism. Had all the colonists thought as he did, had 
they had his firm resolve, I douht whether a single Span- 
iard would ever have reached New Orleans. He had a 
genius for war, and was the chief elect of the Acadians 
and Germans in case of a rupture, and under his orders 
that hrave hody would have been invincible. I regret to 
leave a man of this mold; French patriots must strew 
laurels over his grave." The son of this heroic man be- 
came the second American governor of Louisiana. 

On the day of arrest of the chiefs of the Revolution 
of 1768, O'Reilly issued the following proclamation: 6 

In the name of the King. — Don Alejandro O'Reilly, Com- 
mander of Benfayan in the Order of Alcantara, Lieutenant-Gen- 
eral and Inspector-General of the armies of His Catholic Majesty, 
Captain-General and Governor of the province of Louisiana. 

By virtue of the orders and powers which we possess from 
His Majesty, we declare to all the inhabitants of the province of 
Louisiana that, whatever just cause the past events may have 
given His Catholic Majesty to make them feel his indignation, 
he wishes to listen to-day only to his clemency toward the public, 
persuaded that it has sinned only by allowing itself to be led 
astray by the intrigues of a few ambitious and fanatic men, of 
evil intent, who have rashly abused its ignorance and its too great 
credulity. The latter alone will answer for their crimes, and will 
be judged according to the laws. 

An act so generous should assure His Majesty that his new sub- 
jects will endeavor to merit, by their fidelity, zeal, and obedience, 
the favor which he does to them and the protection which he grants 
them from this moment. 

This proclamation was posted and published through- 
out the city, to the sound of drums and other instruments, 
accompanied by all the grenadiers. It allayed the general 


fear, as it showed that the vengeance of the Spaniards 
would he satisfied with the punishment of the men who 
had been arrested. 

Aubry's account of the arrest is interesting. 7 He says 
that on August 21, at eight o'clock in the morning, the 
general communicated to him, for the first time, the or- 
ders of the King to have arrested and judged, according 
to the laws, the chiefs of the conspiracy. O'Reilly caused 
them all to assemble at his house, under different pre- 
texts, and in Aubry's presence spoke to them as follows : 

Gentlemen : The Spanish nation is revered and respected by 
the whole earth. Louisiana is then the only country where it is 
ignored, and where there is a lack of the regard due to it. His 
Catholic Majesty is greatly offended at the violence which was 
used and at the outrage committed against his governor, his 
officers, and his troops. He has been very much offended at the 
writings which were published, and which outrage his government 
and the Spanish nation. He orders me to have arrested and 
judged, according to the laws, the authors of all these violences. 

After reading the orders referred to, O'Reilly added : 

Gentlemen : You are accused of being the chiefs of this revolt. 
I arrest you in the name of the King. I trust that you will be able 
to prove your innocence, and that I shall soon be able to return to 
you the swords which I have just taken away from you. You 
will produce your defense before the equitable judges who are 
before you. It is they who will judge you. 

The general said also that their property would be 
confiscated according to the custom in Spain; but he 
promised the prisoners to give to their wives and children 

1769] DEATH OF AUBRY 219 

all the aid they might need. Lafreniere and his compa- 
nions were then taken hy several officers and a detach- 
ment of grenadiers to the places where they were to be 
kept, some to the barracks and others to the Spanish ships. 

On August 26 the principal inhabitants of the city and 
of the country took the oath of allegiance to the King of 
Spain, before O'Reilly. He told them, according to Au- 
bry, that they were free to take the oath or not, and that 
he would give them all the time and facilities necessary 
to settle their affairs and retire to their country. Such a 
permission, under the circumstances, was derisive, and 
every one must have understood the risk he would run 
were he to attempt to leave a Spanish province of which 
possession had been taken with such a display of force. 

Aubry, by order of O'Reilly, arrested Foucault, and 
on September 1 gave to the French minister in Paris an 
account of what had taken place in the colony after 
O'Reilly's arrival. He is not ashamed to say that he gave 
the Spanish governor the names of the principal authors 
of the events of 1768, and he praises " the generosity and 
the kindness " of O'Reilly in having caused such a small 
number of men to be arrested, while there were many 
others whose criminal conduct should have exposed them 
to the same fate. He adds that the new Spanish governor 
" will make the happiness of the colony." Aubry was 
crazy, or he was the most contemptible of men. The peo- 
ple of Louisiana have accepted the latter opinion, and his 
tragic end has excited no pity. He left the colony on 
November 23, 1769, on board the Pere de Famille, and 
perished in the wreck of that ship at the mouth of the 


Gironde on February 17, 1770. According to a certifi- 
cate of Cabaret de Trepis, captain of infantry in Loui- 
siana (reproduced in facsimile by Dr. G. Devron, in 
" Comptes Rendus de l'Athenee Louisianais," July, 
1897), Aubry left the colony with two boxes filled with 
silver, containing each ten thousand livres at least ; a bag 
containing also an amount of money which Trepis does 
not know; and a purse full of gold, — fifteen to sixteen 
hundred livres. Champigny accuses Aubry of having re- 
ceived from O'Reilly twelve thousand Spanish ecus and a 
life pension as the price of his infamy. Whether this 
assertion is true or not, the name of the man who was 
Ulloa's sycophant and O'Reilly's informer will ever be 
held in contempt by all brave and loyal men. 

We have seen that Foucault was arrested by Aubry 
as ordered by O'Reilly. The testimony of Garic, former 
clerk of the Superior Council, was very damaging to the 
commissary. Garic said that Foucault called a meeting 
of the Council for October 28, 1768, at which meeting 
the only persons present were Foucault, De Kernion, De 
Launay, De Laplace, Lafreniere, Garderat, assistant 
clerk, and Garic himself. Business of little importance 
was transacted, then the petition of the planters and mer- 
chants was presented and referred to a committee, com- 
posed of De Kernion and De Launay, who were to ex- 
amine the petition and make report to the Council the 
next day. The attorney-general, Lafreniere, said that 
acting councilors should be named to take the place of 
those who were absent on account of sickness. Foucault, 
then, together with Lafreniere, proposed the names of 


Hardy de Boisblanc, Thomassin, Fleuriau, Bobe, Du- 
cros, and De Labarre. The Council met on October 29, 
and the decree against Ulloa was rendered. Garic added 
that Foncault invited them all to a dinner, which lasted 
from two o'clock till five, and that, on the instigation of 
Noyan and some others, the party at Foucault's house, 
with the exception of De Lalande d'Apremont and De 
Kernion, went to the barracks, where were assembled the 
planters and merchants, and afterward to Aubry's house, 
where Foucault and Laf reniere spoke to the French com- 
mandant and asked him to take the reins of government. 
In spite of Aubry's accusations and of Garic's testimony, 
Foucault declared that he acted as an officer of the King 
of France and was accountable only to that monarch for 
his actions. He was sent to France, where he was at first 
thrown into the Bastille, but afterward released and re- 
ceived an office in the East Indies. Braud argued that, 
being the official printer, he was bound to print whatever 
Foucault, the commissaire ordonnatcur ', ordered him. He 
was discharged. 

The accusation against the prisoners was presented by 
Don Felix del Rey, and related all the circumstances 
leading to Ulloa's expulsion. It laid stress on the out- 
rage against the royal authority by the fact that the com- 
missary, Loyola; the contador, Gayarre; and the trea- 
surer, Navarro, were held as hostages to guarantee the 
debts contracted in the name of the court of Spain. " The 
prosecution," says Judge Martin, " was grounded on a 
statute of Alfonso the Eleventh, which is the first law of 
the seventh title of the first partida, and denounces the 


punishment of death and confiscation of property against 
those who excite any insurrection against the King or 
state, or take up arms under pretense of extending their 
liberty or rights, and against those who give them any 

The act of accusation gives in detail the part taken in 
the conspiracy by each of the prisoners. 8 It says that 
Lafreniere and Foucault were the principal chiefs, and 
that Marquis was the military commander of the insur- 
gents ; that he had been one of the most ardent to solicit 
the departure of the Spanish frigate, as she represented on 
the river the odious Spanish domination; that he had 
formed the project of establishing a republic in Louisi- 
ana, which should be governed by a council of forty mem- 
bers and a protector, elected by the people. Noyan was 
accused of attending the meetings that preceded the in- 
surrection, and of having expressed openly his desire to 
see Ulloa chased from the colony. It was he who had the 
staff for the French banner made on his plantation, and 
he excited the Acadians to revolt. He waited for them 
at the Tchoupitoulas gate, on the eve of the insurrection, 
and provided them with provisions and arms. Carresse 
drew up the petition of the inhabitants to the Council and, 
with Marquis and Masan, presented it to Foucault. He 
furnished food to the revolted Acadians; he presented 
himself with a band of insurgents at the door of the 
Council to prevent the councilors from leaving the room 
before having given an opinion favorable to the petition 
of the rebels ; he went with other accomplices to the coun- 
cil-chamber to know what had been the decision of the 


Council; he embarked in a boat, as an officer of the militia, 
to follow Don Antonio <le Ulloa and occupy the fort at 
the Balize. He was one of those who formed the project 
of a bank to be called Mont de Piete; he furnished Dou- 
cet with materials to write the outrageous " Memorial of 
the Planters and Merchants " ; he wrote to Laf reniere : 
' This day will be the most beautiful in your life; we hope 
to see revive in Louisiana the orator of Rome and M. de 
Meaupou to uphold the rights of the nation." Joseph 
Milhet caused the petition to the Council to be signed, 
and he presented himself as officer of a company of mili- 
tia that had taken up arms to support the rebellion. He 
was one of those who went to the Chapitoulas (Tchoupi- 
toulas) gate to receive the Acadians, and he allowed the 
arms of some of the insurgents to be deposited at his 
house. With regard to the other insurgents, it is said that 
Petit himself untied the rope that held to the shore the ship 
in which Ulloa was expelled. Doucet was the author of 
that " most insolent and outrageous manifesto," the " Me- 
morial of the Planters and Merchants." Poupet was the 
treasurer of the rebels, and took up arms with the insur- 
gents. Jean Milhet also took up arms. Masan was one 
of the promoters of the insurrection and was second to 
sign the petition to the Council. He was one of those who 
handed it to Foucault. Several seditious assemblies were 
held in his house; and an aggravating circumstance was, 
that he was one of the most highly esteemed and popular 
inhabitants, on account of his birth, his wealth, and the 
cross of St. Louis with which he was decorated. There 
is no doubt that his example was a powerful incentive to 


animate the people and induce them to share in the crime. 
Hardy de Boisblanc was one of the extraordinary acting 
councilors named by Foucault and Laf reniere, and he car- 
ried to the Council, in his pocket, his written opinion, and 
maintained it vigorously. It was he who conducted the 
establishment of the Mont de Piete. Villere, who was 
dead, was not omitted in the act of persecution. He was 
said to have caused the insurrection of the Germans, of 
whom he was the captain, and to have captured at the 
German Coast part of the money sent by Ulloa in pay- 
ment for grain that the Germans had consumed in the ser- 
vice of the King of Spain, wishing in this way to prevent 
the Germans and Acadians, who had already risen, to 
return to their duty. 

The prisoners denied the jurisdiction of O'Reilly's 
court, and argued that they had committed no act of in- 
subordination against Spain, as Ulloa had not exhibited 
bis credentials and had not taken possession in the name 
of the King of Spain. The tribunal, however, con- 
demned Joseph Petit to imprisonment for life, Balthazar 
Masan and Julien Jerome Doucet to imprisonment for 
ten years, and Pierre Hardy de Boisblanc, Jean Milhet, 
and Pierre Poupet to imprisonment for six years. They 
were all taken to Havana and placed in Morro Castle. 
Nicolas Chauvin de Laf reniere; Jean-Baptiste Noyan, 
his son-in-law; Pierre Carresse; Pierre Marquis; and Jo- 
seph Milhet were condemned, " as chiefs and principal 
promoters of the conspiracy," to the ordinary punishment 
of the gallows (as is required by the infamy which they 
have incurred, ipso jure, by their participation in a crime 

1769] THE EXECUTION 225 

so horrible), to be led to the gallows on asses, with the 
rope around their neck, to be hanged until death shall 
follow, and to remain hanging until I [O'Reilly] decide 
otherwise." 9 

Joseph Villere's memory was condemned as infamous; 
all the copies of the celebrated " Memorial of the Planters 
and Merchants of Louisiana on the event of October 29, 
1768," and other papers relative to the conspiracy, were 
ordered to be burned by the hand of the public execu- 
tioner; and the property of each of the accused was or- 
dered confiscated for the benefit of the Crown. The 
judgment was rendered on October 24, and on October 
25, 1769, the five condemned men were executed in the 
square of the barracks of the Lisbon regiment, which were 
on the upper side of the convent of the Ursulines, on 
Chartres Street. In the archives of the sisters mention 
is made of the fact that the nuns heard distinctly the firing 
of the rifles that put an end to the noble lives of Lafre- 
niere, Joseph Milhet, Noyan, Marquis, and Carresse. 10 
These heroic men were shot by Spanish soldiers, as there 
was no hangman in the colony. Lafreniere and his com- 
panions died with the greatest courage, and have left 
names that will be honored in Louisiana to the end of 
time, together with those of Villere and the unfortunate 
prisoners of Morro Castle. 

The following is the report of the execution, certified 
by the clerk of the expedition: " 

In the execution of what was ordered by the definitive sentence 
which it has pleased his Excellency Don Alejandro O'Reilly, Com- 


mandcr of Benfayan of the Order of Alcantara, Lieutenant-Gen- 
eral and Inspector-General of the armies of His Majesty, his Gov- 
ernor and Captain-General of this province of Louisiana, etc., 
pronounced on the 24th instant, I certify that, being at this hour, 
to wit, at about three o'clock in the afternoon, at the barracks of 
the Lisbon regiment, where were in prison for this cause Nicolas 
Chauvin Lafreniere, Pierre Marquis, Joseph Milhet, Jean-Bap- 
tiste Noyan, and Pierre Carresse, all of the French nation, they 
were taken out of the prison where they were and led under good 
and sure guard of officers and grenadiers, bound by the arms, 
to the place of execution, for the fulfilment of the above-men- 
tioned sentence of death pronounced against them; where was a 
large number of troops which formed a square. And, having ad- 
vanced to the place where were the culprits, I read in substance 
the above-mentioned sentence to make known publicly how well- 
founded was the justice which the King our sovereign, and in 
his name his Excellency, caused to be executed on these persons 
as principal chiefs and authors of the conspiracy which broke 
out in this colony, on the 29th of October of last year, 1768, 
against the authority and the government of the sovereign ; which 
reading was repeated in the French language by the Sieur Henry 
Garderat, assisted by the clerk of court, the Sieur Jean-Baptiste 
Garic, named by his Excellency, and for greater solemnity by the 
lieutenant of artillerj' Don Juan Kely, one of the interpreters 
named by his Excellency; that, in accordance with the order of 
his Excellency, the sentence was published in a loud voice by the 
public crier of this city ; that soon afterward the culprits, having 
been placed at the spot where they were to suffer the death 
penalty, were shot; that having approached immediately after- 
ward the place above-mentioned, I recognized that the said five 
culprits had received different wounds in the head and in the body, 
that they were without movement and absolutely deprived of life. 
At New Orleans, October 25, 1769, in testimony of the truth : 
Francois Xavier Rodriguez, Clerk of the Expedition. 


On October 20, Rodriguez certifies that, on that day, 
at three o'clock in the afternoon, he caused to be burned 
in the public square the " Memorial of the Planters and 
Merchants," and other papers relating to the same affair. 
The clerk says he remained at the place until all the 
papers were reduced to ashes. 

The following lines from Judge Martin's History of 
Louisiana are very significant when we consider the ju- 
dicial and impartial mind of the author: 

Posterity, the judge of men in power, will doom this act to 
public execration. No necessity demanded, no policy justified it. 
Ulloa's conduct had provoked the measures to which the inhabi- 
tants had resorted. During nearly two years, he had haunted 
the province as a phantom of dubious authority. The efforts of 
the colonists to prevent the transfer of their natal soil to a foreign 
prince originated in their attachment to their own, and the Catholic 
King ought to have beheld in their conduct a pledge of their fu- 
ture devotion to himself. They had but lately seen their country 
severed and a part of it added to the dominion of Great Britain ; 
they had bewailed their separation from their friends and kindred ; 
and were afterward to be alienated, without their consent, and 
subjected to a foreign yoke. If the indiscretion of a few needed 
an apology, the common misfortune afforded it. 

Judge Martin is right: nothing can excuse O'Reilly's 
cruelty. Spain was powerful enough to be generous, and 
Charles III would have pardoned men whose only crime 
was to have loved liberty and France, whence had come 
Philip V and Vendome, the victor of Villaviciosa. There 
is surely no nobler page in any history than that which is 
presented to us by the " Martyrs of Louisiana." 


Gayarre quotes in his History a letter of the Marquis 
de Grimaldi, one of the ministers of Charles III, to the 
Count de Fuentes, Spanish ambassador to France, by 
which we see that O'Reilly went beyond his instructions 
when he caused Lafreniere and his companions to be exe- 
cuted. Grimaldi says: 

The instruction that was given to him [O'Reilly] was, that 
after taking in that port [Havana] the infantry battalions, the 
ammunition, and the other things which he should judge necessary, 
he should go to the colony, and that, after taking possession of 
it in the name of His Majesty, he should institute proceedings 
and punish, according to the laws, the chiefs of the insurrection, 
by sending away from the colony all the persons and families 
who might disturb its tranquillity. ... It appeared proper to 
give M. O'Reilly such extensive instructions, on account of the 
distance of the country. But as the King, whose character is 
well known, is always inclined to gentleness and clemency, he 
ordered that M. O'Reilly be informed that it would be agreeable 
to the will of His Majesty that he should act with the greatest 
mildness, and be contented with expelling from the colony those 
who should deserve a greater punishment. 12 

Petit, Jean Milhet, Poupet, Masan, Doucet, and 
Hardy de Boisblanc, who had been condemned to im- 
prisonment in Morro Castle, Havana, were liberated in 
1771 by the intercession of the French government. The 
son of Masan went to Madrid and begged the King to 
pardon his father. The French ambassador joined his 
entreaties to those of the devoted son, and all the prison- 
ers were released from captivity. This act of clemency 
proves that the King of Spain would not have consented 

1778] THE EXILES 229 

to the execution of five of the chiefs of the Revolution of 
1768 had an appeal been made to him by O'Reilly. The 
latter bears the sole responsibility for this cruel deed. 

The prisoners of Morro Castle never returned to Loui- 
siana, and are said to have retired to Santo Domingo, at 
the Cap Francais. Baudry des Lozieres says that Jean 
Milhet, on his arrival at Santo Domingo, sent for his 
family, and that, on seeing his wife and three children, 
his joy was so great that he died a week later. The un- 
fortunate exiles from Louisiana suffered again during 
the revolt of the negroes at Santo Domingo, and the wife 
of Jean Milhet, says Baudry des Lozieres, died at Phila- 
delphia. The widow of Lafreniere received from the 
King of France ten thousand livres, part of which was 
to be given to the widow of Xoyan, Lafreniere's son-in- 

The Chevalier Bienville de Noyan, enseigne de vais- 
seau™ died in Santo Domingo in March, 1778, where he 
had formed a partnership with the Baron de Breteuil. 
As he had been one of the promoters of the Revolution of 
1768, O'Reilly had confiscated his property. Villars, the 
French commissioner in Louisiana, says that the Duke 
de Duras, the Count de Vergennes, and the Baron de 
Breteuil, as relatives, protectors, and friends of the Che- 
valier de Noyan, endeavored to have the confiscation 
raised, but made the mistake of pleading his innocence, 
which could not be admitted without casting suspicion 
on the justice of Count O'Reilly and on that of the King 
who had ratified the conduct of his general. Now that 
Noyan is dead, Villars adds that he will make a last at- 


tempt in favor of his widow and children, and Governor 
Galvez will second with all his might the petition to the 
minister of the Indies. 

Thus ended the drama that began when Louis XV 
ceded to Spain the colony of Louisiana, where were liv- 
ing men of honor and of courage who refused to be trans- 
ferred to a foreign sovereign. It is a sad and heroic 
story, and one that should never be forgotten on the soil 
where was shed the blood of Lafreniere, Noyan, Carresse, 
Marquis, Joseph Milhet, and Villere. 


Old Papebs of Colonial Times 

Interest of the papers of colonial times — Papers signed by Lafr^nierc and 
Foucault— A lawsuit and a petition in 1769— Hunting cattle on the Gen- 
tilly coast— Establishment of the cahildo — The governor and the com- 
mandants—The alcaldes and the escribano— Case of the slave Hautista — 
Military life in 1795— Petition from a lady in 1768— Louison, the Indian, 
freed from slavery— Contract with the Acadians— Father Dagobert's in- 
duction into office— A petition from the inhabitants of Cabaha-noce— Suit 
against the memory of a supposed self-homicide— Petition in 1769 about 
a "carriage" (a pirogue). 

MONG the archives of the Louisiana 
Historical Society are several wooden 
boxes containing judicial papers of 
colonial times. The Louisianians of 
the eighteenth century appear to 
have been truly religious and hon- 
orable, but some of their ideas were 
peculiar, and their language, as seen in their judicial pa- 
pers, is somewhat naive and bombastic. The bombastic 
style, however, in the eighteenth century, was not re- 
stricted to Louisiana. We see it but too often in the writ- 
ings of French authors, especially those of the minor 
dramatists who had forgotten the beautiful language of 
the seventeenth century. They seem to speak to poster- 
ity, and they use the longest words to express what they 
consider to be deep philosophy. Fortunately, says M. 



Petit de Julleville, the eminent French critic, the writers 
of the eighteenth century have kept the secret of their 
style and have not transmitted it to us. It is, never- 
theless, interesting to make a study of that style as 
exemplified in the Louisiana documents, and to try to 
understand what was the condition of things in colonial 

The papers contained in the box marked 1768 and 1769 
are of special interest, as they bear the signature of La- 
freniere as attorney-general. In October, 1768, the colo- 
nists expelled Ulloa, the Spanish governor, and it is in- 
teresting to read petitions addressed to that Superior 
Council which had the boldness and the patriotism to 
issue the decree of expulsion. A few months later 
O'Reilly arrived, and on October 25, 1769, Lafreniere 
and four of his heroic friends were executed, while others 
were sent to prison. The insurrection against the Spanish 
governor was general, as the petition sent to the Superior 
Council asking that Ulloa either show his credentials or 
depart was signed by five hundred and sixty respectable 
inhabitants. Foucault, the commissaire ordonnateur, was 
one of the instigators of the Revolution of 1768 ; but as he 
was an officer of the King of France, he held himself ac- 
countable only to the latter for his conduct, and he was 
sent back to France. He was first judge of the Council, 
and his name and that of Lafreniere are to be seen on 
almost all the French papers for several years. 

Among these papers is an account of a lawsuit, which 
gives a good idea of judicial proceedings and of the style 
of petitions in April, 1769. Alexandre Reboul, mer- 


chant, to " Nos Seigneurs " of the Superior Council of 
the Province of Louisiana, says, in substance, that as the 
Sieur Voisin was very ill, his family thought it advisable 
to send him to town to be treated, and he stayed at the 
Sieur Heboid's house, where he died. The plaintiff claims 
compensation for expenses incurred by having at his 
house three persons, — that is to say, the widow and the 
children, besides three slaves. He says they remained 
more than a month during the illness of the Sieur Voisin, 
and about fifteen days after his death. Plaintiff declares 
that the widow Voisin wishes to deprive him of his rights, 
but that he owes it to his minor children to insist upon 
his privileges, and he claims seven hundred and fifty 
livres. The petition is dated April 22, 1769, and on 
April 29 De Lalande, probably acting in Foucault's ab- 
sence, orders the case to be brought before the Superior 
Council. Edme Tranchant Dupuy, " huissier," certifies 
that he has notified all parties interested to appear before 
the Council. The answer of the widow Voisin, through 
her lawyer, the Sieur Billoard Ch. Dessales, is very 
curious : 

To the demand little civil of the Sieur Reboul: Never have 
arguments been more painful to present than those which the 
defendant offers to-day for Madame Voisin ; obliged to do so, 
however, he has consulted the said lady, who found herself in 
consternation and overwhelmed with the greatest resentment and 
the greatest grief. She has the misfortune to see the children 
of the late Sieur Voisin embittered against her on account of her 
renunciation of the marriage community, which she has done for 
the sole purpose of providing a piece of bread for her poor chil- 
dren, who are minors and of tender age. What would the children 


of the late M. Voisin require,* — or rather what should they re- 
quire, they who are provided for, who have means, who enjoy 
the comforts of a quiet life? Did they wish that she should 
abandon to them her own property, to her detriment and that 
of her own children ? Could she do so ? And if she had done so, 
would not her conscience have been alarmed, even lacerated? On 
the contrary, she threw herself at the feet of the tribunal to im- 
plore its justice and be put in possession of the property she had 
before she married the Sieur Voisin, and in that way to protect 
her children from indigence. 

Ought the Sieur Reboul to use this means to bring the suit, 
ill-mannered and most common, which he brings to-day? If it 
costs the widow Voisin tears, sighs, and sobs, she will render justice 
to the Sieur Reboul, to whom it must have cost much also to 
make this demand. Brought up in the house of the King, in 
the most distinguished and high sentiments, and to fall at once 
to institute such vile suits, if nature does not suffer, at least pride 
does. The silence he has kept thus far is the proof of this. In- 
deed, forgetting all discretion and forgetting himself, he asks 
750 livres for the board of four persons and three servants. Ma- 
dame Voisin is far from being unwilling to indemnify the Sieur 
Reboul for the extraordinary expenses he may have incurred. She 
is, however, compelled to say that she remained at the Sieur 
Reboul's only fifteen days, and her daughter Tonton fifteen days, 
and Marie Voisin was at her aunt's ; she never had three servants 
at one time; she had only one negress at a time, who went back 
to the plantation to rest when she was tired, and the servants 
brought their food with them from the plantation. 

The expense for twenty-three days for one person can never 
amount to 750 livres, especially when one has contributed to that 
expense? Shall this fact be proved? We are compelled to do 
so, not to be accused of ingratitude. In the time that the 
Sieur Voisin was ill at the house of the Sieur Reboul, there were 
brought from the plantation of the widow three sheep, ten tur- 
keys, twenty chickens, two barrels of rice, one barrel of potatoes, 


and every week four pounds of butter and a quantity of vege- 
tables, as well as eggs, four pounds of candles, and twenty loaves 
of long bread. Sball we say, besides, that very often the boarders 
wrote tickets for bread, but the Sieur Reboul, through generosity, 
tore them up and would not allow sending to the baker's? Shall 
we say that money was given to buy meat, but Madame Reboul 
took it away from the servants and would not allow it? What 
more shall we say? We know not how to defend ourselves; that 
unexpected attack calls for silence, and only leaves a moment to 
beg the Court to consider the statement hereto attached, and to 
order what shall appear proper, so very indignant is Madame 
Voisin at seeing in the plaintiff such feelings, unworthy a former 
officer in the guards of the King, but such as usually cause law- 
suits, in which fortunes are cither increased or diminished. 

The plea of the procureur Dessales, signed May 6, 
1769, although somewhat bombastic, is ingenious and 
caustic. We shall pass to another petition. 

The tradition in New Orleans is, that the name Gen- 
tilly is a corruption of Chantilly, the historical palace of 
the Montmorencys and of the Condes, which has been 
bequeathed by the Duke dAumale to the Institute of 
France. One of these papers appears to prove that Gen- 
tilly is a family name, or rather the name of a landed es- 
tate which belonged to one of the best-known and oldest 
Louisiana families. 

To " Nos Seigneurs " of the Superior Council of the Province 
of Louisiana: The inhabitants of the coast of Gentilly have the 
honor to represent that a certain Braziller, living on Bayou St. 
John, has for several years taken the liberty of going on the Gen- 
tilly grounds to kill cattle which he pretended to believe were 
wild. A few years ago, by his own authority, he is said to have 


left some cattle at a place above Gentilly, called Chef Menteur, 
which cattle he left for some time on this continent, and then 
he had them exported to the other side of the lake, and pretended 
that some have remained on the place, since he does not cease with 
his negroes to hunt cattle and kill any that he chances to meet 
and carry them across the lake. It is well to call your attention 
to the fact that the greater part of the cattle of the planters of 
the Gentilly coast are and have been at all times on this continent. 

The petition declares further that Braziller has just 
killed two oxen, which he claims as his, and when M. 
Dreux's negro asked him to show him the skins and heads, 
to see the marks, he said he had no accounts to render, and 
that his negroes had eaten and burned the heads, using 
insulting and threatening words in reply. The planters 
notified him not to hunt cattle any more on their conti- 
nent, but he paid no attention to them, and continued 
as in the past, and a great many cattle are missing, es- 
pecially from M. Dreux pfre, who ought to have seven 
to eight hundred cattle, and finds that he has fewer than 
eighty. The petitioners ask if any one has ever heard 
of a planter or any other individual hunting the cattle 
of the planters and laying his hands upon them without 
notifying the planters of the neighborhood. They say 
that Braziller sells as meat of wild oxen what is really 
meat of French oxen ; and that there is nothing more im- 
pertinent than this man, who threatens to shoot M. 
Dreux's cattle-keeper. The petitioners, therefore, pray 
that Braziller and his negroes be forbidden to hunt cattle 
or any other game on the Gentilly coast; and that he be 
condemned to pay a fine to the benefit of the Charity 


Hospital. Signed, January 14, 1769, by Fazende, S. 
Bernoudy, Bernoudy, Dreux, Dreux fils, Dreux Gen- 
tilly, and by Lafreniere as attorney-general. 

The words " continent," used for the Gentilly coast, 
and " French oxen " are curious. The latter expression 
meant undoubtedly oxen belonging to some one, and not 
wild. The signature " Dreux Gentilly " indicates that 
the Gentilly coast was named for some landed estate 
of the Dreux family to which belonged the distinguished 
Creole orator and Confederate officer, Charles D. Dreux. 

The Superior Council, to which were addressed the 
petitions just mentioned, went out of existence when 
O'Reilly took possession of the colony in the name of the 
King of Spain. A cabildo was substituted for the Coun- 
cil, says Judge Martin in his History of Louisiana. This 
was composed of six perpetual regidors, two ordinary 
alcaldes, an attorney-general, a syndic, and a clerk. The 
ordinary alcaldes were judges in New Orleans, and de- 
cided without appeal all cases where the value of the 
object in dispute did not exceed 90,000 maravedis, or 
$330.88. Beyond this amount, an appeal lay to the ca- 
bildo; but, says Judge Martin, " this body did not itself 
examine the judgment appealed from, but chose two re- 
gidors, who, with the alcalde who had rendered it, re- 
viewed the proceedings, and if he and either of the regi- 
dors approved the decision, it was affirmed." 

The governor's authority was very great, and he had 
both executive and judicial power, and to some extent 
legislative power also. In his judicial capacity he had 
as counselor the auditor or assessor. The latter person 


sometimes had the titles of assessor, auditor, and lieuten- 
ant-governor, as in the case of Nicolas Maria Vidal dur- 
ing Carondelet's administration. In the parishes outside 
of New Orleans there was a commandant who had juris- 
diction in civil cases involving not more than twenty dol- 
lars. Beyond that amount, the commandant took down 
the testimony and sent the papers to the governor. He 
likewise sent to the governor a transcript of the evidence 
in criminal cases, and had no authority to judge the ac- 
cused. He was empowered, however, to arrest and im- 
prison him until the governor gave the decision. The 
commandant was a very important personage in a parish, 
and had a number of duties to perform. 

From what precedes, we see that justice was admin- 
istered in the city by the two ordinary alcaldes and by 
the governor, and in the parishes, to a limited extent, by 
the commandant. Two other important officials were the 
" escribano publico," or clerk of the cabildo, and the 
translator. From 1788 to the end of the Spanish domi- 
nation the " escribano " was Pedro Pedesclaux, whose sig- 
nature is attached to numerous documents. 

In 1795 the governor was Don Francisco Luis Hector, 
Baron de Carondelet, whose administration was marked 
by internal improvements, and was judicious and wise. 

The times of slavery are remote and past forever, and 
no one regrets them; but as slavery was for many years 
an institution in Louisiana, it is interesting to see what 
were the rights of the slave and how he was treated by 
the courts of justice. 

Bautista, a slave of the estate of Widow Reine, de- 


clares that by the will of his mistress he was valued at 
$350, as she said that he should become the slave of her 
son Estevan, provided the latter paid to the estate the 
sum stipulated in the will. Bautista says he has found 
some one willing to give him the $350 required, and he 
begs that the administrator of the estate should grant him 
his freedom on his paying that amount. The alcalde, 
Don Ignacio Josef de Lovia, summons the negro Bau- 
tista and the executor or administrator of the estate to 
appear before him, and Pedesclaux, the escribano, cer- 
tifies to his having notified both. " Doy fee " is the ex- 
pression he uses. Don Francisco Cousin, the executor, 
asks that the testament be produced in court, and the al- 
calde grants the request. This testament, like many others 
of the time of the Spanish domination, begins with a most 
fervent prayer. The assertion of the negro that his mis- 
tress wished to sell him to her son for $350 is borne out 
by the will. The executor, however, denies that this 
is the value of the slave, and asks that appraisers be ap- 
pointed to ascertain his value. Both parties are duly no- 
tified, and Bautista chooses Don Bernardo Tremoulet, 
and the executor Don Geronimo Lachiapella. The ap- 
praisers are sworn, and Lachiapella values the slave at 
$1100, as being an excellent carpenter, and Tremoulet 
says that he is worth $600, because he works only as di- 
rected by others. The appraisers not agreeing, the al- 
calde names Don Roberto Jones, master carpenter, as 
umpire. This decision is communicated to the executor 
of the estate and to the slave, and the umpire, being sworn, 
declares, like Don Bernardo Tremoulet, that Bautista 


is not an excellent workman, and he values him at $800. 
The court accepts the appraisement of the umpire as 
final, and orders that the parties concerned be informed 
of the decision. The executor replies that, should the said 
slave be unable to pay the $800 stipulated, he (the ex- 
ecutor) begs to be authorized to sell him for the account 
of the estate. The case ends with the statement of Bau- 
tista that he cannot pay $800. 

The slave is certainly to be pitied that he did not suc- 
ceed in obtaining his freedom, but throughout the whole 
proceeding we observe the equity and impartiality of the 
court. The slave being a property guaranteed by law, 
the executor of the estate did his duty in trying to ob- 
tain as high a price for him as possible, and the court 
could not do otherwise than require Bautista to pay the 
amount of the valuation. 

Don Francisco Luis Hector, Baron de Carondelet, 
Knight of the Order of St. John, Brigadier of the Royal 
Armies, Governor-General and Royal Vice-Patron of 
the Province of Louisiana and of West Florida, and In- 
spector of the Veteran Troops and of the Militia, said, 
in substance, that on June 3 Martin Villanueva, Captain 
of the Seventh Company of the First Battalion of the 
Regiment of Infantry, who was on guard with his colonel, 
informed the governor that he had taken to prison a 
civilian named Fare, whom he had met quarreling with a 
soldier of the Regiment of Mexico. He arrested the lat- 
ter also, and sent him to his quarters, and took away from 
Fare a knife, which he brought to the governor. A sol- 
dier named Amort was witness of the facts. The gov- 


ernor, therefore ordered the escribano, Pedesclaux, to as- 
certain the quality and dimensions of the knife, and to 
summon as experts the master armorer, Pedro Lambert, 
and the blacksmith, Marcelino Hernandez, who should 
testify under oath whether the knife was one of those 
prohibited by the royal edicts. Captain Villanueva, the 
soldier Amort, and the soldier of the Regiment of Mexico, 
were also to appear as witnesses in the case, of which the 
lieutenant-governor, Nicolas Maria Vidal, was to be the 
judge. The escribano proceeded to measure the knife, 
of which he gave a curious and exact drawing, and of 
which the dimensions were: blade, seven inches and three 
lines, with a point ; wooden handle, four inches and three 
lines, and attached to the blade by three nails. The ex- 
perts, Lambert and Hernandez, testified under oath — 
the first through the interpreter, Estevan de Quinones, 
the second directly — that the knife was one of which the 
use was forbidden in the colony. Captain Villanueva tes- 
tified that, being on duty in the evening at the house of 
his colonel, Don Francisco Bouligny, he heard the sen- 
tinel calling, and on going out to see what it was, he per- 
ceived a civilian holding a knife in his hand and pursuing 
a soldier of the Regiment of Mexico. He took the knife 
from the civilian, and carried it to the governor. Being- 
asked if he knew the civilian, he said he was a baker at 
whose shop the soldiers often bought bread. He added 
that the man was very drunk ("muy borracho"), as 
on entering the guard-house he lay down on an old 
sofa that was there. Being asked if the baker and the 
soldier of Mexico were wounded, he replied that they 


were not, but that the latter bore traces of blows on his 

The testimony of the soldier of the Regiment of Mex- 
ico is quite curious and interesting. He relates that, as 
the baker was on friendly terms with the soldiers of the 
regiment, in which were some men called John (Juan), 
the latter ordered a pie from the baker, and invited him 
to come and celebrate their feast with them. The baker 
went, and on leaving the quarters of the soldiers he saw 
that it was raining very hard. He asked the witness to 
lend him a coat, and the latter borrowed that of his ser- 
geant, who ordered him to accompany the baker to his 
house, so that he might bring back the coat. On arriving 
at the baker's house, the soldier was invited to come in, 
and he found at the baker's several persons. They all 
began to drink, and the baker, says the witness, became 
completely drunk (" enteramente borracho "), and when 
he was asked for the sergeant's coat, he and his friends 
beat the soldier unmercifully. The latter, to defend him- 
self, gave a kick at the baker, who seized a knife and 
pursued him into the street. The knife was duly identi- 
fied by all the witnesses and the testimony of every one 
was very damaging to the enraged and drunken " pa- 
nadero." The judgment of Lieutenant-Governor Vidal 
is not recorded. 

The Sieur Monsanto, a merchant, claiming a large 
sum of money from a lady, the latter says that her 
deceased husband compelled her, in 1763, to sign an act 
by which he admitted a debt of 25,000 livres in paper 
money of the colony, in exchange for 12,500 livres in 


coin. She says that the livre in paper at that time was 
worth only one fourth of a livre in coin, and that as the 
creditor has already received 7500 livres in coin, an 
amount equal to 30,000 livres in paper, she now (Octo- 
ber 1, 1768) begs the Superior Council to release her 
from her obligations, and adds that she has nothing but 
her life and her tears, weak resources which all women 
have. The decision of the Council is not given. 

On April 30, 1770, the Sieur Pierre Clermont ap- 
peared before the notary of the cabildo and declared that 
he had had for a long time in his service an Indian named 
Louison, of the nation of the " Sious." The latter has 
served him with so much attachment and zeal that he de- 
sires to reward him, and believes that the best way to do so 
is to give him his freedom. As, however, he has an indis- 
pensable need of the Indian for three years longer, and 
he fears that he might be prevented by death from liber- 
ating him, he declares it to be his wish that in three years 
Louison be set free and enjoy all the rights of freedom. 
Louison, in his turn, declares that he thanks the Sieur 
Clermont, and promises to serve him faithfully three 
years. He also says that he agrees to lose all rights given 
to him by his master if he should prove ungrateful to 

The fact of an Indian of the Sioux tribe being a slave 
in New Orleans in 1770 is strange, and the name of the 
savage, Louison, is stranger still. It must have been very 
humiliating to an Indian brave to change his own proud 
name to that of a woman. 

In a paper dater April 4, 1765, we see a contract be- 


tween Antoine Bernard Dauterive, former captain of in- 
fantry, and Joseph Broussard, dit Beausoleil, Alexandre 
Broussard, Joseph Guilleheau, Jean Duga, Olivier Thi- 
baudau, Jean-Baptiste Broussard, Pierre Arcenaud, and 
Victor Broussard, chiefs of the Acadians. Captain Daute- 
rive promises to furnish each Acadian family with five 
cows with their calves, and one bull, for six consecutive 
years, and he will take the risk of the loss of the cattle 
only the first year. As soon as he shall be notified of a 
loss he will immediately replace the animal by another 
one of the same kind, without holding the Acadians re- 
sponsible for losses by death during the first year. He 
reserves the right to rescind the contract after three years, 
and to take back his cattle, all increase being equally di- 
vided between him and them. The Acadians may sell 
some of the cattle before the expiration of the contract, 
provided they give him half the price received. At the 
end of six years they must give back to M. Dauterive the 
same number of cattle that they received from him, and 
of the same age and kind as those that had been received, 
all increase and profits to be equally divided between M. 
Dauterive and the Acadians. The chiefs of the latter bind 
themselves and colleagues in solido, and mortgage all 
their property, and so does M. Dauterive. The contract 
is signed before Garic, notary, in the presence of Aubry, 
acting governor of the colony; Foucault, ordonnateur; 
Lafreniere, attorney-general, and Mazange and Cou- 

It is not stated where the Acadians were to go after 
leaving New Orleans; but some of their chiefs certainly 


went to the Attakapas country, for in.the church register 
in St. Martinville is a certificate of the birth of a daugh- 
ter of Olivier Thibaudau, Irani on May 10, 1765, proba- 
bly the first child born in Louisiana of Acadian parents. 
The contract proves that the Acadians were well received 
in the province ; for in the agreement with M. Dauterive 
all the advantages were on their side. For the first year 
they were protected against loss of their cattle, and they 
were to receive half the profits. As to the mortgage on 
the property, they had far less to lose than M. Daute- 
rive, who must have been wealthy, while they are repre- 
sented as having come to Louisiana in great distress. 

The contract between M. Dauterive and the chiefs of 
the Acadians is important in that it proves that the help 
given to the Acadians came from individuals as well 
as from the government. The latter, however, seemed to 
assume the responsibility of the agreement, as the paper 
was signed by the first officials of the government. The 
Acadians, doubtless, received their lands free from the 

Father Dagobert's name is so well known in Louisiana, 
and is connected with so many legends and poems, that 
it is interesting to reproduce the official account of his 
taking possession of his pastoral office on October 7, 
1764. Garic, royal notary of the province of Louisiana 
and chief clerk of the Superior Council, certifies that 
the Rev. Father Dagobert de Longory, former superior 
of the Capuchin missionaries from Champagne, has pre- 
sented a commission from the Rev. Father Hilaire de 
Geneveaux, which gives to Father Dagobert possession, 


collation, and charge, as curate, of the parochial church 
of St. Louis, in New Orleans, with all rights and priv- 
ileges. The said commission given hy the Rev. Father 
Hilaire de Geneveaux, as superior of the missions of 
Louisiana, has been ordered registered by the Superior 
Council and recognized; and, therefore, the clerk of 
the Council went to the cathedral at eight o'clock in the 
morning when the curate was to take possession of the 
church. The persons present were Lafreniere, Duclos, 
assistant attorney-general; Cantrelle and Jacquelin, 
churchwardens; Dreux, Huchet de Kernion, Le Breton, 
Aubry, and other notable inhabitants of the province. 

The clerk read Father Dagobert's commission and the 
decree of the Council, and then Father Eustache, former 
curate, put his successor in possession of his office. The 
ceremonies were : putting on the stole, taking holy water, 
prayers before the principal altar, visiting the pulpit and 
the baptismal fonts, ringing the bells, standing at the 
place where the curate is to officiate at the altar, and other 
formalities. Then the clerk proclaimed in a loud and in- 
telligible voice that Father Dagobert had taken posses- 
sion of his office, and, no one protesting, immediately 
the Te Deum was sung and the act drawn up by Clerk 
Garic was signed by all present. 

In 1796 a petition was addressed to Governor Caronde- 
let by the inhabitants of St. James parish, district of 
Cabaha-noce. It appears that the parish priest, Father 
de Azuquequa, having died, the court ordered the servant 
of the parsonage to be sold and the price paid to Father 
Mangan, successor to Father de Azuquequa. The in- 


habitants of the parish protest against the judgment, and 
appeal to the governor. Their petition is interesting and 
is better written than most documents of that time. It 
is drawn up in French, in what seems to be the handwrit- 
ing of Michel Cantrelle, commandant of the parish, and 
then admirably translated into Spanish by Juan Josef 
Duforest. The petitioners declare that it is well known 
that since their arrival in this country they have built at 
their own expense a church for divine service; that they 
have kept it in as good condition as they could; that 
they have always given good lodging to the priest; that 
they have bought, with the consent of Bishop Cirilo, of 
Barcelona, servants for the use of the priest and them- 
selves. The slaves are to serve them during Lent and at 
other times when, the distance being too great, they are 
not able to return home without eating something. The 
servants are also to provide them with water to drink on 
Sundays. Why should they be deprived of that conve- 
nience, which costs nothing to any one except to them ? It 
is said to be against the regulations of the church, but they 
are utterly ignorant of such regulations. They say they 
ask for no favor, but simply claim justice, and request 
that not a cent (denier) be taken from the estate of Fa- 
ther de Azuquequa before their rights are determined. 
" In short," they say, " in order to prove to the world that 
we are not looking for quarrels or quibbles, we ask no 
other judges but your Excellency and Monseigneur the 
bishop, having full confidence in your equity and impar- 
tiality. As vice-patron royal, we dare hope that you 
will receive our demand favorably, which has no other 


.aim but to end an unpleasant suit that deprives us of the 
tranquillity that has always reigned in this parish, and 
prevents us from contributing as generously as we should 
like to the care of the church. In order that you may be 
informed perfectly of our reasons, we shall name, to ex- 
plain them if you judge proper, two old inhabitants of 
our parish, to whom will be added our commandant, Don 
Miguel Cantrelle, who knows better than any one what 
concerns our community." The petition is signed by many 
persons whose descendants still live in St. James parish. 

The name Cabaha-noce, which was said to mean " the 
ducks' sleeping place," was given by Governor Roman to 
his plantation, and should have been preserved in St. 
James parish. We should at least respect the Indian 
names, which remind us of the aborigines and their 

Bienville, the founder of New Orleans, father of the 
colony, asked to be relieved of his office of governor after 
his unfortunate war with the Chickasaws, and returned 
to France in 1743. His successor was the Marquis de 
Vaudreuil, who was appointed Governor of Louisiana in 
1741. In 1753 he was appointed Governor of Canada, and 
left Louisiana, where he was known as the " Grand Mar- 
quis." During his administration took place an event 
that reveals a curious phase of the life of our ancestors 
in the eighteenth century. It shows that, however pecu- 
liar some of their ideas may appear to us, they were al- 
ways actuated by feelings of honor and justice. On 
April 18, 1752, Raguet, member of the Superior Coun- 
cil, declares that he has made an " information," at the 


request of the attorney-general, Fleuriau, plaintiff and 
accuser of the memory of a soldier named Andre Servin- 
ien, dit La Rochelle, accused of having destroyed himself 
hy a gunshot in the head, said " information " heing of 
his life and morals as well as of his suicide. Joseph 
Odoy, soldier of the company of Benoist, swears that he 
is neither a relative nor a servant of the accused, and 
testifies that La Rochelle, a soldier of his company and 
of his mess, killed himself with his gun yesterday morn- 
ing, between eight and nine o'clock. Witness had gone 
to the river to get some water, and on returning found 
La Rochelle dead. One hour before this La Rochelle 
had taken a knife, saying that he wished to destroy him- 
self; and every day, as soon as he had taken a drink, he 
became terribty angry, and in his great furies he even 
threatened to kill his father, and his comrades had to pre- 
vent him from killing himself. Witness was never on 
intimate terms with him, on account of his violence and 
bad temper, and it is possible that sometimes his mind 
wandered (fut ecarte). Jean Louis Rabido, soldier of 
the same company, testifies that La Rochelle had extraor- 
dinary fits of anger and fury, taking a knife to cut his 
stomach, and making blood flow, cursing and abusing 
the name of God, acting in a way to make witness shud- 
der, and saying he would never pardon his father. Wit- 
ness believes that when La Rochelle had taken some 
drinks his mind wandered. Pierre Filcher and Andre 
Desjardins, soldiers, make the same statements as the 
preceding witnesses. They believe that La Rochelle's 
mind was alienated, and they say that, while at the can- 


teen, he went from table to table, taking the bottles and 
drinking like a madman. 

On April 19, 1752, the attorney-general appears before 
Commissioner Raguet and declares that he has just 
heard that the body of Andre Servinien, dit La Rochelle, 
against whose memory and corpse he was prosecuting 
this criminal suit, has been taken away from the cabin in 
the King's Hospital, where it had been deposited. There- 
upon, M. Raguet and the attorney-general went to the 
hospital, questioned two students in medicine, Chastang 
and Dupont, and also the two Ursuline nuns in charge 
of the hospital, but could obtain no information concern- 
ing the soldier's body. The nuns declared that they had 
passed the night at their monastery, and only heard, be- 
tween four and five o'clock, that the body had been taken 
away; it must have been done during the great thunder- 
storm in the night. On the same day, April 19, Raguet 
says that as Servinien, " homicided," has no relatives in 
this colony, he has named curator to his memory Pierre 
Cecile, who, being duly notified, has accepted the office 
and sworn to defend faithfully the memory of Servinien. 
On April 20, the witnesses, Odoy, Rabido, Filcher, and 
Desjardins, were brought before M. Raguet, and their 
testimony, given on April 18, was read to them and duly 
approved by them. On April 20, Pierre Cecile, curator, 
appeared before the commissioner and was asked all 
kinds of questions about Servinien, dit La Rochelle. He 
related the facts already given by the witnesses, soldiers 
in Servinien's company; and being asked if he had any- 
thing to say in favor of the memory of Servinien, he 


replied that the latter had the mind of a madman, and 
that there was more madness in him than despair. 

On April 21, all the witnesses were again brought be- 
fore the commissioner and examined by the curator, and 
they all gave the same testimony as before. Here ended 
the labors of the Commissioner Raguet, and the suit was 
carried for judgment before the Superior Council itself, 
presided over by the governor. On May 6 Curator Ce- 
cile appeared before the Council, and he again narrated 
the same facts, and offered the same defense as before 
M. Raguet. Therefore the Council rendered the follow- 
ing decision: Whereas, it appears that Andre Servinien, 
dit La Rochelle, was not in his proper senses, and his 
mind was alienated and attacked with fury: it is resolved 
that his memory be discharged of the accusation brought 
against it. Signed by Vaudreuil, governor; Michel, or- 
donnateur; DAuberville, commissioner of marine; and 
Raguet, De Lalande, Huchet de Kernion, Le Breton, 
members of the Council. 

In April, 1769, M. Sorel requested his friend, Dr. 
Lebeau, to endeavor to find and return to him a pirogue 
that was stolen from him. Dr. Lebeau found a pirogue 
that agreed with the description given to him by M. 
Sorel, and obtained from Foucault, ordonnateur and 
first judge of the Council, an order that experts be 
named to decide whether the pirogue was M. Sorel's 
or not. The experts, after examining carefully the 
pirogue, or " voiture," decided that it agreed with the 
description given by M. Sorel, and Dr. Lebeau thought 
he had obtained possession of his friend's property. 


But the Sieur Saligny, from " la Cote des Allemands," 
intervened and claimed the pirogue as his. In his pe- 
tition he speaks harshly of Dr. Lebeau, and claims not 
only the pirogue, but damages and two days' pay for 
three Germans who had come with him to identify his 
property. Dr. Lebeau, replying to Saligny 's petition, 
says that the experts have examined the pirogue, have 
measured it, have found a hole made by a knot in the wood 
and closed it by a plank, and now it is said the hole was 
closed by a plug. " A plug is not nailed ; it is a cylindri- 
cal body, whose base is about equal to the point, and the 
piece of wood that closes the hole is three inches in diam- 
eter and two inches in depth; therefore it is not a plug. 
Is the Sieur Sorel in default for not having made a geo- 
metrical plan of the object? One of my negroes testified 
that in M. Sorel's pirogue there were one hundred pegs 
to close small holes, and in the pirogue in dispute two 
hundred. Now, that negro cannot count further than 
twenty. The story of this pirogue is a strange incident, 
for it would require all the pirogues in the universe to 
find two so exactly alike as this one and M. Sorel's. Men 
are all under the protection of the laws, but especially 
honest people, whose labor is useful to society, and not 
people whose occupation is to the detriment of society, 
like these coast runners ('coureurs de cote'), who, un- 
der pretext of bringing merchandise, carry disorder and 
death to the plantations, by selling rum there. The police 
of a country should not only see that there should be no 
useless members of society, but also should remove the 
vicious members. We must therefore know who are 


Saligny and his associates. Where do they come from? 
How are they here? Are they not amphibious — some- 
times Englishmen, sometimes Frenchmen? Does their 
labor contribute to the welfare of humanity? The con- 
stant thefts of pirogues are the work of coast runners, 
deserters. If the want of complete proof always protects 
them, there is nothing which they will not attempt to do. 
Presumption of guilt should always be against persons 
who have an illicit commerce and who labor to foment 

Dr. Lebeau's petition is energetic and fearless, and 
gives a good idea of the customs of the time. The word 
vehicle or carriage (" voiture ") , used for pirogue, shows 
that in 1769 our fathers lived on the banks of rivers and 
bayous, and used their pirogues principally as means of 




1 Bancroft says: " It was supposed to be an island, and received 
the name of Florida, from the day on which it was discovered, and 
from the aspect of the forests, which were then brilliant with a pro- 
fusion of blossoms, and gay with the fresh verdure of early spring." 
(History of the United States, Vol. I, page 33.) 

• W. B. Scaife, America, its Geographical History. 
3 Peter J. Hamilton, Colonial Mobile. 

* Monette's Valley of the Mississippi. Luis Hernandez de Biedma, 
A Gentleman of Elvas, in collection of B. F. French. 


1 Translation of B. F. French. 

2 John Gilmary Shea's Hennepin's Description of Louisiana 
(New York, 1880). 

3 I follow Parkman's translation, and insert the words omitted by 


1 Margry, Origines franchises des Pays d'Outre-Mer, Vol. IV, 

2 Alex. Jodoin et J. L. Vincent, Histoire de Longueil et de la 
Famile de Longueil, page 82. 

3 There is some uncertainty about the fate of Sauvole, brother of 
Iberville and Bienville. 

4 Winsor's Narrative and Critical History, page 14. 

Journal de la Navigation de Le Moyne d' Iberville (Decembre, 
1698-3 Mai, 1699). Margry, Vol. IV. 



8 Journal Historique de l'Etablissement des Francais a la Loui- 

7 In Margry, Vol. V, page 312, this fort is called " Maurepas." 
It was generally known by the name of " Biloxi," and later " Old 

8 13th, according to Iberville's journal; 14th, according to Cha- 
teaumorant's report; and 11th, according to Journal Historique. 

9 Journal in Margry, Vol. IV. 

10 Margry, Vol. V, page S95. 
"Margry, Vol. IV, page 190. 

12 Le Page du Pratz, in his History of Louisiana, Vol. I, page 276, 
gives another version. He says that when the English ship reached 
the bend in the river they had no wind to turn around it, and having 
tried to land, they were attacked by the Ouachas and Chaouchas Indi- 
ans, who had been watching them. They turned back, whence the 
name " Engbsh Turn." 

13 Journal Historique, page 19- 

14 The first settlement in the present State of Louisiana ; the fort 
is called " Maurepas " by some historians. It was abandoned in 

15 He was not a brother of Iberville and Bienville, as has been often 

16 According to the Journal Historique. Iberville, in his journal, 
says January 10 and 16 leagues. 


1 Magne's Notes et Documents Historiques, Louisiana Historical 
Society, page 103. 

2 Jean Le Camp's child was " the first Creole " of the colony. With 
regard to this fact, Mr. Peter J. Hamilton, author of Colonial Mo- 
bile, says in his Beginning of French Settlement of the Missis- 
sippi Valley, note to page 5 (Gulf States Historical Magazine, 
1902): " His name was Jean Francois, and he was baptized by the 
cure Huve, on the day of his birth, October 4, 1704. His father 
was probably named Jean Le Camp. The family name Le Camp 
can hardly be made out in the first church entry, but Prof. Alcee For- 

NOTES 259 

tier lately found at Paris, in a census report of two years later, 
the name spelled Le Camp. The church entries show a Jean Le 
Camp in 1709- The statement of Pickett that the first Creole was 
the son of Jousset is incorrect. There is a curious entry in the 
records of 1745, at the death of Robert Tallon, cabinet-maker, that 
he was ' the first Creole of the colony.' This would indicate, per- 
haps, that Jean Francois Le Camp had died before that, or that 
Robert Tallon had been born before him, which may well be, as the 
colon} 7 had existed even at Fort Louis two years before the church 
records begin." Bienville and La Salle say in their census, " Jean Le 
Camp has the first male child born in Louisiana." This is conclusive. 

3 Notes et Documents, Louisiana Historical Society, page 11. 

4 Francois Xavier Martin, History of Louisiana. 

5 Crozat graciously named one of his ships La Louisiane, which 
carried provisions and goods to the colony. 

6 The letters patent were given at Fontainebleau and are dated 
September 14, 1712. See French MSS., Mississippi Valley, in the 
custody of the Louisiana Historical Society. 

7 In Margry, Vol. V, page 350, we see a memorial, dated February 
27, 1700, and addressed to Jerome Pontchartrain by Juchereau de 
Saint-Denys, asking to be allowed to form a settlement at Mississippi. 
On June -1, 1701, permission was granted the Sieur Juchereau, " lieu- 
tenant-general of the jurisdiction of Montreal," to establish a tannery 
at the Mississippi. Juchereau made his settlement at the "Ouabache" 
(the Ohio), and on September 6, 1704, Bienville reported that he died 
" last autumn." The Saint-Denys, or " St. Denis," mentioned so 
often by Penicaut and other chroniclers is identified by Dr. Shea 
(see Winsor's Narrative and Critical History, page 25) as Louis 
Juchereau de Saint-Denys, who, according to Charlevoix and Peni- 
caut, was the uncle of Iberville's wife. It was Saint-Denys, says 
Penicaut, who commanded the fort on the Mississippi and received 
orders to abandon it in 1705. 

8 Monette, History of the Valley of the Mississippi. 

8 In 1721 Fort Louis of Mobile was named Fort Conde, and the 
fort at New Biloxi was named Fort Louis. 

10 Henri Martin, Histoire de France. 

11 The letters patent were issued at Paris in August, 1717. See 
French MSS., Louisiana Historical Society. 


12 Margry, Vol. V, page 290. 

13 Journal Historique. 

14 The intention of the Western Company had been at first to 
establish the town to be called " Nouvelle Orleans " at Manchac, as 
it would be convenient to communicate by Iberville River with Mobile. 
If we were to believe Penicaut's statement (Margry, Vol. V, page 
549), New Orleans was founded in 1717 and not in 1718. He says 
that Bienville told Governor De l'Epinay that he had noticed a 
very suitable place to form a settlement on the bank of the Missis- 
sippi, and that De l'Epinay sent Bienville in the beginning of the 
winter to build that new establishment. The Journal Historique, 
however, is much more reliable than Penicaut's Relation, and its 
statement about the foundation of New Orleans may be accepted as 


15 It was in reality the Superior Council remodeled. It had been 
created on December 18, 1712, for a period of three years, on the 
plan of the Council of the other French colonies, and on September 
17, 1716, it was made "perpetual and irrevocable." See French 
MSS., Louisiana Historical Society. 

16 On January 8, 1721, the Baleine arrived with eighty-eight girls 
from the hospital of La Salpetriere in Paris. They were under the 
direction of Sister Gertrude, and had all been brought up from child- 
hood in the hospital. (Penicaut, in Margry, Vol. V, page 581.) 

11 Gayarre, Histoire de la Louisiane, Vol. I, page 195. 

18 In a letter dated Fort Louis (Biloxi), March 9, 1722, Engineer 
Pauger says his superior officer, Leblond de la Tour, ordered him 
to go to New Orleans to trace the plan of a regular town. On 
March 29, 1721, he found at New Orleans only a few huts (6a- 
raques) among briers and trees, and he traced all streets fronting 
on the river. In Dumont's Memoires Historiques de la Louisiane 
there is a plan of New Orleans made by Leblond de la Tour and 
Pauger. It was the latter who established the post at the Balize in 
March, 1723. (Margry, Vol. V, page 657.) 

19 Margry, Vol. V, page 553. 

20 Charlevoix, Journal d'un Voyage dans l'Amerique Septentrionale, 

Vol. VI. 

21 One of the few Indian tribes still existing in Louisiana, at 
Charenton, on Bayou Teche. They make beautiful baskets. 

NOTES 261 

" Le Page gives the narrative of Moncacht-ape, of the tribe of the 
Yazoos, of his journey to the east as far as the ocean, and to the west 
up the Missouri River as far as the mountains. The narrative of 
Moncacht-ape is very interesting and is accepted as authentic. 


1 The original of the edict, written on excellent parchment and 
signed by the King, by the minister Phelypeaux (Maurepas), by 
Fleuriau, Dodun, and Rossard, is to be found in the volume of French 
MSS., Mississippi Valley, in the custody of the Louisiana Historical 

1 The same regulations applied to the French islands. 


1 Dumont, Memoires Historiques sur la Louisiane, Vol. II. VV I" 

5 " The toise is a measure of six feet, but it must be remembered 
this French foot is 12.78933 English inches, and thus longer than our 
own." (Hamilton's Colonial Mobile, page 70.) 

s Dumont, Memoires Historiques. 

4 Mother Tranchepain died on November 11, 1733, before the 
nuns entered their convent. Sister Madeleine Hachard died on 
August 9, 1760. 

6 Gravier, Relation du Voyage des Ursulines. 

6 The treaty between the Jesuits and the Company of the Indies 
was signed on February 20, 1726, and approved by the King on 
August 17, 1726. (See French MSS., Mississippi Valley, Louisiana 
Historical Society.) 

7 Extraits des Manuscrits d'un Anglais habitant la Louisiane de 
1719 a 1753. Rev. C. M. Widman, S. J., and Dr. G. Devron, in 
Comptes Rendus de l'Athenee Louisianais, 1899- 

8 The name is written also Louboey. 

J. F. H. Claiborne, Mississippi as a Province, Territory, and 



CHAPTER VII ( »Vl* — I * c 


1 Le Page du Pratz, Histoire de la Louisiane, Vol. III. 

2 Notes et Documents, Louisiana Historical Society, page 2. 

3 The retrocession of the Province of Louisiana and of the coun- 
try of the Illinois, made by the Company of the Indies, was ac- 
cepted by the King on January 23, 1731. (Margry, Vol. V, 
page 590.) 

4 D'Artaguette, says Gayarre, was to obtain reinforcements from 
the Cahokias and the Mitchigamias under Montcherval. Margry, 
in his Documents sur la Louisiane, says the name of the com- 
mander was Mont-Chervaux and not Montcherval. 

6 Young D'Artaguette was a brother of the commissary who be- 
came commandant, or lieutenant de rot, at Mobile. They were sons 
of the old commissaire ordonnateur. (Hamilton's Colonial Mobile, 
page 108.) 

6 Notes et Documents, Louisiana Historical Society, page 260, and 
Gayarre, Histoire de la Louisiane, Vol. II, page 322. 

7 Gayarre, Histoire de la Louisiane, Vol. I. 

8 The Governor of Canada had first sent the Baron de Longueil, 
Major of Montreal, a nephew of Bienville, as commander of the 
contingent sent by him; but Longueil had an attack of sciatica, and 
Celoron took his place. (Margry 's Documents sur la Louisiane, Loui- 
siana Historical Society.) 

9 Margry's Documents, Louisiana Historical Society. 

10 Margry's Documents sur la Louisiane, Louisiana Historical 

11 Martin, History of Louisiana. 

12 L. Dussieux, Le Canada sous la Domination Franeaise, page 
123. F. X. Garneau, Histoire du Canada, page 202. Bossu, Nou- 
veaux Voyages, Vol. I, page 212, says that we must distinguish M. 
de Villiers, known as the Great Villiers, who went to avenge Ju- 
monville's death, from the Chevalier de Villiers who was stationed 
at Fort Chartres. 

13 Bossu, Nouveaux Voyages aux Indes Occidentales. 

14 We give Kerlerec's name with the acute accent as he signed it 

15 The name is also spelled Beaudrot. 

NOTES 263 


1 Etienne- Francois, Duke de Choiseul, born 1719, died 1785. He 
waa first known by the name of Count de Stainville. He should be 
distinguished from his cousin, Cesar-Gabriel de Choiseul (1712- 
1785), Duke de Praslin, known as Count de Choiseul until 1762. 
The latter became minister of foreign affairs in 1761, and it was 
he who signed the treaty of Paris in 1763. He is generally known as 
Choiseul-Praslin, while the able minister of Louis XV is known as 

2 George Bancroft, History of the United States, Vol. IV. 


S 9 b F e 1762. 

LE ROI TRES CHRETIEN etant dans la ferme resolution de res- 
serrer de plus en plus, et de perpetuer les liens de la tendre amitie qui 
l'unissent au Roi Catholique son Cousin, se propose d'agir en conse- 
quence en tout tems et a tous egards avec Sa Majeste Catholique dans 
une parfaite uniformite de prineipes relativement a. la Gloire com- 
mune de leur Maison, et a l'interet reciproque de leurs Monarchies. 

Dans cette vue Sa Majeste tres Chretienne veritablement sensible 
aux sacrifices que le Roi Catholique a bien voulu faire genereusement 
pour concourir avec Elle au retabUssement de la paix, a desire de 
lui donner a cette occasion une preuve du vif interet qu'elle prend 
a sa satisfaction et aux avantages de sa Couronne. 

Pour cet effet le Roi tres Chretien a autorise le Due de Choiseul 
son Ministre a delivrer dans la forme la plus autentique au Marquis 
de Grimaldi ambassadeur extraordinaire du Roi Catholique, un acte 
par lequel Sa Majeste Tres Chretienne cede en toute propriete, pure- 
ment et simplement, et sans aucune exception, a Sa Majeste Catho- 
lique et a Ses Successeurs a perpetuite, tout le Pays eonnu sous le 
nom de la Louisiane, ainsi que la Nouvelle Orleans et l'lsle dans la- 
quelle cette ville est situee. 

Mais le Marquis de Grimaldi n'etant pas assez exactement in- 
formed des intentions de Sa Majeste Catholique, a cru ne devoir ac- 
cepter la dite cession, que conditionellement et sub spe rati, en at- 
tendant les ordres qu'il recevra du Roi son maitre, lesquels, s'ils sont 
conformes aux desirs de Sa Majeste Tres Chretienne, comme elle 
l'espere, seront immediatement suivis de l'acte formel et autentique 


de la cession dont il s'agit, dans lequel seront stipulees les mesures 
a prendre et l'epoque a fixer d'un commim accord, tant pour l'evacu- 
ation de la Louisiane et de la Nouvelle Orleans par les sujets de 
Sa Majeste Tres Chretienne, que pour la prise de possession des dits 
pays et ville par les sujets de Sa Majeste Catholique. 

En temoignage de quoi nous Ministres respectifs avons signe le 
present acte preliminaire et y avons fait apposer le cachet de nos 

Fait a Fontainebleau le trois Novembre mille sept cent soixante 

(L. S.) Le Due De Choiseul (L. S.) el marq s de Grimaldi. 


Don Carlos, por la gracia de Dios, Rey de Castilla, de Leon, de Ara- 
gon, de las dos Sicilias, de Jerusalem, de Navarra, de Granada, de 
Toledo, de Valencia, de Galicia, de Mallorca, de Sevilla, de Cerdena, 
de Cordova, de Corcega, de Murcia, de Jaen, de los Algarves, de 
Algecira, de Gibraltar, de las islas de Canaria, de las Indias Orien- 
tales, y Occidentales, Islas, y tierrafirme del Mar Oceano; Archi- 
duque de Austria; Duque de Borgona, de Brabante, y de Milan; 
Conde de Absburg, de Flandes, del Firol, y de Barcelona; Sefior de 
Vizcaya y de Molina, &c, Sor quanto aviendo llegado el caso de fir- 
marse el dia tres del presente mes los Preliminares de una Paz 
entre la Corona de Espana y la de Francia de une parte, la de 
Inglaterra y Portugal de otra, ha tenido a bien el Rey Christianisimo 
mi mui caro y mui amado Primo, por puro efecto de la nobleza de 
su Corazon y del amor y amistad en que vivimos, disponer que el 
Marques de Grimaldi mi Embassador Extraordinario cerca de su 
R 1 . persona, y el Duque de Choiseul su Ministro de Estado, firmasen 
en el mismo dia un acto por el qual cede desde luego la Corona de 
Francia a. la de Espana el Pais conocido bajo el nombre de la 
Luisiana, la nueva Orleans, y la Isla en que esta Villa halla situada, 
y en el qual el citado mi Embassador admite la cesion tan solo sub 
spe rati, por no hallarse con ordenes mias, que deviesen determinar — 
le a egecutar lo absolutamente el tenor de cuyo acto es el siguiente. 
(Here follows the treaty of Fontainebleau — French text.) 

Por tanto, mirando yo a que efectuada esta generosa accion del 
Rey Christianisimo sirva para que se arraigue entre las dos Naciones 
Espaiiola y Francesa el espiritu de union y amistad que las conviene 

NOTES 265 

a exemplo del que anima a sus actuales soveranos, me compluzco de 
acceptar ademas los que se juzgasen necesarios para Ucvarla a su 
entero formal efecto, y autorizando para que los trate, concluya y firme 
al mencionado Marques de Grimaldi. En fe de lo qual he mandado 
despaehar la presente firinada de mi mano, sellada con mi sello se- 
ereto, y refrendada de mi infraserito Consexcro de Estado y primer 
Secretario del Despacho de Estudo y Guerra. En San Lorenzo el 
R! a treze de Noviembre de mil setecientos sesenta y dos. 
(Seal) Yo el Rey. 

Ricardo Watt. 

* Notes et Documents, page 467. 

5 Gayarre, Histoire de la Louisiane, Vol. II. 

• Lettre du Roy a M. d'Abbadie, command', a la Louisiane pour 
qu'il fasse entre les mains du Commissaire que le Roy d'Esp e . nom- 
mera remise du dit pays ainsi que de la Nouvelle Orleans et de 
l'isle dans laquelle cette Ville est situee, conformement a l'acte de 
cession passe a fontainebleau le 3 9 b . re 1762, et accepte par un 
autre acte signe par sa M. C. le 17 du meme mois dont les copies 
sont cy jointes. 

Mons. Dabbadie par un acte particulier passe a fontainebleau le 
3. 9 br - e 1762, ayant cede de ma pleine Volonte a Mon tres Cher et 
tres Ame Cousin le Roy d'Espagne et a Ses Successeurs et Heritiers, 
en toute propriete purement et simplement et sans aucune Excep- 
tion tout le Pays connu sous le Nom de la Louisiane, ainsi que la 
Nouvelle Orleans et L'isle dans laquelle cette ville est situee et par 
un autre acte passe a l'Escurial, Signe du Roy d'Espagne, le 13. 9 hT - e 
de la meme annee, sa Majeste Catholique ayant accepte la Cession 
dudit Pays de la Louisiane et de la Ville et Isle de la Nouvelle 
Orleans, conformement a la Copie des dits actes que vous trouverez 
cyjoints, je Vous fais cette Lettre pour vous dire que Mon Intention 
est qu'a la reception de la presente et des Copies cyjointes, soit 
qu'elle vous parvienne par les Officiers de Sa Majeste Catholique, 
ou en droiture, par les batiments francois qui en seront Charges, 
Vous ayiez a remettre entre les Mains du Gouverneur, ou Officier a 
ce prepose par le Roy d'Espagne, ledit Pays et Colonie de la 
Louisiane et postes en deppendants, ensemble les Ville et Isle de la 
Nouvelle Orleans, Telles qu'elles se trouveront an jour de ladite Ces- 
sion, voulant qu'a l'avenir elles appartiennent a Sa Majesty Catholique, 


pour Etre Gouvernees et adniinistrees par Ses Gouverneur et Officiers 
Comme luy appartenant En toute propriete et Sans aucune Excep- 
tion, je Vous ordonne En consequence, qu'aussitot que le Gouverneur 
et les Troupes de Sa Majeste Catholique Seront arrives dans lesdits 
pays et Colonies, vous ayez a les mettre en possession et en retirer 
tous les officiers, Soldats et Employes, appartenants a mon service qui 
y Seroient encore en garnison, pour envoyer en france, ou dans mes 
autres Colonies d'Amerique ceux qui ne jugeroient pas a propos de 
rester sous la domination Espagnole. je desire de plus qu'apres 
l'Entiere Evacuation desdits Postes et Ville de la Nouvelle Orleans, 
vous ayez a rassembler tous les papiers et documents relatifs aux 
finances et a l'administration de la Colonie de la Louisiane, pour 
Venir en France en regler les Comptes, mon Intention est neantmoins 
que Vous remetties audit Gouverneur, ou officier a ce prepose, tous 
les papiers et documents qui Concerneront Specialement le Gou- 
vernement de cette Colonie, soit par rapport au Territoire et a ses 
Limites, soit par rapport aux Sauvages et aux differents Postes, 
apres en avoir tire les receus convenables pour votre decharge et 
que vous donnies audit Gouverneur tous les renseignements qui 
dependront de vous, pour le Mettre en Etat de Gouverneur ladite 
Colonie a la Satisfaction de Sa Majeste Catholique. et afin que lad. 
Cession Soit faite a la Satisfaction reciproque des deux Nations ma 
Volonte est qu'il soit dresse un Inventaire signe double entre Vous 
et le Commissaire de Sa Majeste Catholique, de toute l'Artillerie, 
Armes, Munitions, Effets, Magazins, Hopitaux Batiments de Mer 
&c Qui m'appartiennent dans lad. Colonie, afin qu'apres avoir mis 
led. Commissaire Espagnol en possession des Batiments et Edifices 
Civils, il soit dresse ensuite un proces verbal d'Estimation de tous 
lesdits Effets qui resteront sur les Lieux et dont le prix sera rem- 
bourse par Sa Majeste Catholique sur le pied de lad. Estimation, 
j'espere en meme terns pour l'avantage et la tranquility des habitants 
de la Colonie de la Louisiane et je me promets en Consequence de 
1'amitie et affection de Sa Majeste Catholique quelle voudra bien 
donner des ordres a son Gouverneur et a tous autres officiers Em- 
ployes a Son Service dans lad. Colonie et Ville de la Nouvelle 
Orleans pour que les Ecclesiastiques et Maisons religieuses qui deser- 
vent les Cures et les Missions y continuent leurs fonctions et y jou- 

NOTES 267 

isscnt des droits, privileges et Exemptions qui leur ont ete attri- 
butes par les titres de leurs Etablissements: que les Juges ordinaires 
continuent, ainsi que le Conseil Superieur, a rendrc la justice, sui- 
vant les Loix, formes et usages de la Colonic: Que les habitants y 
soient gardes et maintenus dans leurs possessions: qu'ils soient Con- 
firmed dans les proprietes de leurs biens, suivant les Concessions (jui 
en ont ete faites par les Gouverneurs et ordonnateurs de la Colonic 
et que les d'f Concessions soient Censees et reputees Confirmees 
par Sa Majeste Catholique quoiqu'elles ne l'eussent pas encore Ete 
par Moy, Esperant au Surplus que Sa Majeste voudra bien donner 
a Ses Nouveaux Sujets de la Louisiane les memes Marques de pro- 
tection et de bienveillance qu'ils ont Eprouve sous ma Domination 
et dont les Seuls malheurs de la Guerre les ont Empeche de ressentir 
de plus grands effets, je vous ordonne de faire enregistrer ma pre- 
sente Lettre au Conseil Superieur de la Nouvelle Orleans afin que 
les differents etats de la Colonie Soient Informes de Son Contenu et 
qu'ils puissent y avoir recours au besoin. Et la presente N'Etant 
a autres fins, je prie Dieu, Mons Dabbadie qu'il vous ait en Sa Sainte 
Garde. Ecrit a Versailles le 21 Avril 1764. Louis. 

Le Due De Choiseul. 

7 St. Louis was really founded in 1764 by Laclede and Chouteau. 
See Vol. II, Chap. xii. 

8 Notes et Documents, page 823. 

9 Margry's Documents sur la Louisiane. 

10 Fortier's Louisiana Studies, page 156. 

11 Notes et Documents, page 468. 

12 Colonial Archives, Paris. Copied by the writer. 

13 Gayarre, Histoire de la Louisiane, Vol. II, page 165. 

14 Colonial Archives, Paris. Copied by the writer. 

15 Notes et Documents, page 701. 

16 Notes et Documents, page 709. 

17 Notes et Documents, page 643. 

18 Notes et Documents, page 611. 

10 Notes et Documents, pages 617 to 643 and 668 to 671. 

20 Gayarre, Histoire de la Louisiane, Vol. II, page 230. 

21 Larousse, Grand Dictionnaire Universel. 

22 Nine hundred men, according to Aubry. 



1 Notes et Documents, Louisiana Historical Society, page 674. 

2 For original text of both treaties, see notes to Chapter VIII. 

3 Notes et Documents, page 938. 



1 Aubry 's statement in his letter of August 24, 1769. Martin, in 
his History of Louisiana, gives twenty-eight transports and forty- 
five hundred men. 

2 Gayarre, Histoire de la Louisiane, Vol. II. 
8 Notes et Documents, page 715. 

4 Martin says that only four of the insurgents were arrested at 
O'Reilly's house; but Aubry, in his letter of September 1, 1769, says 
that all the insurgents were arrested by the general in his own house. 

5 French, Historical Memoirs of Louisiana, Series VI. 

6 Notes et Documents, page 730. 

7 Notes et Documents, page 724. Aubry 's letter of September 1, 

8 Notes et Documents, page 751. 

9 Notes et Documents, page 802. 

10 The following extract from the archives of the Ursuline Con- 
vent was furnished Mr. Henry Renshaw and published by him in 
Publications Louisiana Historical Society, 1901 : 

" The sieurs Nicolas Chauvin de Lafreniere, Jean Baptiste Noyan, 
Pierre Carresse, Pierre Marquis and Joseph Milhet, condemned to 
death by O'Reilly, as chiefs of the revolt against Spain, at the time 
of the cession of Louisiana, were shot, on October 25, 1769, in the 
yard of the barracks, lot adjoining that of the Convent of the Ursu- 
lines. It was a terrible moment of anguish for the nuns. The 
report of fire-arms caused the windows of the Chapel to shake, 
where had taken refuge the relatives of the victims, with whom the 
nuns prayed." 

11 Notes et Documents, page 805. 

12 Gayarre, Histoire de la Louisiane, Vol. II. 

13 Notes et Documents, page 459. Letter of Villars, French com- 
missioner, August 20, 1778. 















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